Daredevil Nik Wallenda said this Sunday’s tightrope walk, which will be made 50 stories above the Chicago River without a net and while wearing a blindfold, isn’t a death wish.
“It isn’t at all,” Wallenda said in response to a question in an interview with People magazine. “For me, this is living life. To not be on a wire is not living to me.”
Wallenda’s stunt will air Nov. 2 on Discovery Channel, billed as “Skyscraper Live.” It follows his high-wire walks across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, for which millions tuned in, the story notes.
The report adds: “The Chicago walk poses several significant new obstacles: In addition to the wind and likely frigid temperatures, he’s also tackling his steepest walk ever — a 15-degree angle rising approximately eight stories between the Marina City west tower and the Leo Burnett building.”
The incline will strain him in different ways, he told the publication.
“Usually with wire walking, the biggest strain is on my arms with that 45 lb. balancing pole. But this is really a strain on my legs, my arms and my back. I’m using a lot more muscle control,” Wallenda said.
He will wear the blindfold for the second part of the walk, the piece adds. Wallenda said he was inspired by a relative, the late Angel Wallenda, who lost a leg to cancer but walked on tightropes with a prosthetic leg.
“I thought, ‘I wonder if I could do what I do without my vision?’ That’s kind of where it all started,” he said. “I proved to myself, ‘Yes, I can do it. And I can do it safely.’”