Who was the tightrope walker at Madonna's 2012 Super Bowl halftime show? His name is Andy Lewis, and he's one of the world's top slackline walkers. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Madonna may be getting mixed reviews for her Super Bowl 2012 halftime show, but there's one part the performance that everyone's raving about: the tightrope (slackline) walker.
Millions of football fans across America were transfixed by a Richard Simmons / Will Ferrell lookalike who stole the show at Sunday night's Super Bowl halftime performance by Madonna and friends.
The wild-haired toga-wearing man performed a series of death-defying stunts, leaping through the air and balancing himself on a slackline to the beat of Music. His brief performance ended with an epic backflip and a shot from Madonna's finger gun.
But who was the Super Bowl tightrope walker?
The performer was actually slacklining extraordinaire Andy Lewis. The company Gibbon Slacklines claims Madonna saw a slacklining competition in November and decided to include it in the show. The Boulder, Colorado-based company provided both the trampoline-like line and the athlete, Lewis, for the performance.
It's a big day for slacklining, Ricardo Bottome, president of Canaima Outdoors, Gibbon's distributor for North and South America, told Boulder's The Daily Camera.
Lewis claimed slacklining was the easy part.
Learning how to dance with Madonna and her dancers is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, he said in a prepared statement. Using a Gibbon slackline is simple by comparison.
Slacklining is essentially the act of balancing along a narrow, flexible piece of webbing that is low to the ground and traditionally anchored to two trees. Tricklining is the term used when professionals like Lewis perform flips and twists.
Slacklining originated in the climbing world and has evolved into a cross trainer, family activity, and sport all its own.
If you think Lewis' Super Bowl act was incredible, check out what this guy does when Madonna's not around: