T Nation

Man on Wire


#1

..i saw the documentairy about Philippe Petit, the man who walked a wire between the Twin Towers N.Y. in 1974 last sunday on the BBC, and i was mesmerized. It was truly beautiful. Imagine the balls to span a steel cable in the middle of the night between the two towers [illegally ofcourse] and then step out on the cable and walk between the towers for 45 minutes...

..i had seen pictures before, but never fully realised what he did. To me, this is a great, great work of art: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Petit


#2


#3


#4


#5

There's even a kid's book about his deed. The last page always makes me tear up a bit.


#6

I meant to watch this a while back, but never got around to it.

"I observed the tightrope 'dancer'â??because you couldn't call him a 'walker'â??approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire....And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle....He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again....Unbelievable really....[E]verybody was spellbound in the watching of it."

Crazy stuff! It sure takes balls to pull something like that off.

Thanks for bringing it up E.


#7

..check the BBC's iPlayer Raf, it's definitly worth the watch. Even after almost 40 years, the people involved in 'le coup' became emotional just talking about it. The cop you quoted was interviewed for t.v. and they showed the clip in the documentairy; the guy was visibly moved by what Petit did, awestruck is the right word i guess. There's always so much talk on T-Nation about alpha males, but this goes way, way beyond that...


#8

Yeah I watched that, it was amazing. Like you say the sheer guts that must have taken is mind-blowing. There is something quite brilliant about a man who hears the tallest buildings in the world are being built and immediately decides he must tight rope walk between them.

And he went out and got it on with some hot groupie straight afterwards. Well played.


#9

Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, the seventies!

This was an incredible feat. The seventies saw the birth of many "extreme sports", like base jumping and bridge diving (jumping off buildings with a parachute, and jumping off bridges with a bungee cord). What we did back then was dangerous and illegal. And it had to be done quickly before the cops came, which was part of the thrill. Now people do this shit in amusement parks and on TV, with plenty of safety measures and no threat of jail time.


#10

amazing documentary. it totally deserved the oscar. petit is a bold, dynamic dude. he balanced the oscar on his chin when he accepted.


#11

..i didn't know the documentary won an Oscar. Nice...