Wallenda To Perform Part Of Chicago Tightrope Walk Blindfolded
By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 3, 2014 2:00PM
Photo courtesy Discovery Network
Another wrinkle has been revealed regarding high wire artist and acrobat Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over the Chicago River Halloween weekend. The Flying Wallenda Family member will walk between Marina City’s two corncob towers blindfolded.
That’s after Wallenda walks from Marina City’s west tower to the Leo Burnett Building, a two-block walk 50 stories over downtown and the Chicago River, at a gradual climb that will reach a 15 degree angle. It’s both the highest skyscraper walk in the history of the Wallenda Family and the first time Wallenda has ever attempted a climb at such a steep angle.
Wallenda, who famously walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls in 2012, says this is his most challenging high wire act to date.
“For both parts of the tightrope walk, I’m going to face challenges like I’ve never experienced before,” Wallenda said. “I’ll not only need incredible physical strength to complete this walk, but laser-focused concentration. I’m incredibly excited to show the world what you can do if you put your mind to it, pursue your dreams and never give up.”
Wallenda isn’t only preparing himself physically. He’s meeting with three engineering teams to design the rigging for his walk, which he will do in one of the windiest areas of the city. Wallenda is training for the walk in 90 mph winds, has a $20 million insurance policy to cover the safety of himself, his crew, and the buildings. And Wallenda needs to comply with the Illinois Aerial Exhibitors Safety Act requiring high wire artists to have safety plans in place in case of a slip and fall.
The untethered walk on Nov. 2 will be broadcast live on Discovery Channel to 220 countries. It will also stream online at SkyscraperLive.com.