Human Interest

French acrobat slacklines between peaks in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Dec 4 (EFE).- A crowd of residents and tourists stood on Rio de Janeiro’s Vermelha Beach and cheered Saturday as French acrobat Nathan Paulin crossed a slackline suspended 80m (262 ft) above the ground between hills near iconic Sugarloaf Mountain.

The barefoot 27-year-old daredevil covered the 500m from Babilonia Hill and Urca Hill in roughly 30 minutes.

Paulin, the holder of a dozen world records, told reporters afterward that he felt very emotional about completing the feat after having been forced to postpone because of the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 615,000 lives in Brazil.

He said that intense concentration and banishing negative thoughts were the keys to a safe, successful crossing.

Paulin carried out the walk in the framework of “Les Traceurs,” a project conceived by choreographer Rachid Ouramdane, artistic director of France’s Theatre Chaillot, with the aim of prompting reflection on humans’ capacity to preserve their environments.

The slackline performance was accompanied by music composed specifically for the occasion.

Paulin says he fell into love with climbing as a child and got involved in slacklining and highlining when he was 14.

His longest crossing to date came in June 2017, when he made his way 1,662m on a wire 300m in the air over the Cirque de Navacelle site in southern France.

Later in the same year, Paulin wowed Parisians with a slackline crossing from the Eiffel Tower to Trocadero hill. EFE cms-jq/dr

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