In a telecast carried live — or almost live — on Discovery Channel, daredevil Nik Wallenda successfully completed what the Associated Press calls “two hair-raising skyscraper crossings on high wires without a safety net or a harness, and performing one blindfolded” on Sunday.
Discovery used a 10-second delay for its “Skyscraper Live” telecast, which would have permitted the network to jump from the stunt’s broadcast if he fell, the story says. The city allowed him to perform the stunt without a safety net, saying that a state requirement for a safety net for aerial acts performed more than 20 feet above the ground wasn’t meant for “elite” performers, the piece notes.
“Journalists covering Sunday’s event signed waivers relinquishing their right to claim emotional distress if they witness a catastrophe,” the AP reports.
After completing the stunt, Wallenda said, “I feel incredible.” He walked into the news conference wearing his blindfold, which drew laughter, the story adds.
His stunt was watched in Chicago by thousands of fans, who packed the streets to get a glimpse of Wallenda, 35.
“Wearing a bright red jacket, Wallenda tested the tension of the first wire. It took him about six and a half minutes to walk the 454-foot stretch from the Marina City west tower to the top of a building on the other side of the river. The tightrope began at 588 feet from the ground and ended at 671 feet,” the story says.
It adds, “The next stage of Wallenda’s high-wire event he undertook blindfolded — a 94-foot walk 543 feet from the ground between the two Marina City towers. At a fast clip, he made the stretch in little more than a minute.”
Wallenda said he next wants to re-create a high-wire walk performed by his great-grandfather, a 1,200-foot walk across Tallulah Falls Gorge in Georgia.