Watch: Chinese Tightrope Walker Falls, Survives

Yesterday, on a hot and windy day at Shiniuzhai Scenic Resort in Pingjiang, Hunan province, Aisikaier, a sixth-generation Xinjiang tightrope walker of the “Dawa Zi” (Uyghur-style high wire) attempted to break a world record by walking 700 meters on a tightrope strung 250 meters above ground at its highest point. Because doing this like a normal acrobat would have been too easy — he’s a Dawa Zi, remember — Aisikaier chose to do it backwards, blindfolded, and without a harness.

After 52 minutes of walking, only 40 meters from the finish, he lost his footing, supposedly due to the wind and fatigue, and fell. The thousands of onlookers gasped. Five minutes later though, rescue workers found him walking off on his own power, unscathed. It was lucky he fell so close to the finish, and lucky that he landed on his balls — big enough to break his descent. Because… damn. Youku video for those in China after the jump.

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