Nik Wallenda, a tighwire daredevil, amazed the citizens of Chicago last night (2nd November 2014) by completing two wire walks between some of the city's skyscrapers.
Both walks were completed without a safety net or safety line prompting the Discovery Channel, who televised the stunt, to delay the "almost live" footage by 10 minutes just in case the worst happened. The second of Wallenda's walks was also completed blindfolded.
The first, and longest, of the tightwire walks stretched 500ft (150m) above the Chicago River. The wire had an incline of 19 degrees, meaning Wallenda had to climb a height of 83ft (25m) during the walk. The weather was also against Wallenda with temperatures on the chilly side and a gusty wind.
Wallenda successfully complete the first walk in a time of 6 minutes 52 seconds. The second walk was much shorter but Wallenda was blindfolded for it. Using the sound of his father's voice to direct him, Wallenda competed the blind walk in 1 minute 17 seconds.
Wallenda set a world record with each walk; one for the highest tightrope walk at an incline and another for the highest blindfolded tightrope walk.
Wallenda says after Chicago he wants to recreate a 1,200-foot-long high-wire walk made famous by his great-grandfather. Karl Wallenda’s stunt at Tallulah Falls Gorge in Georgia included two headstands on the high wire. Tragically, Karl Wallenda died a year before Nik was born during a tightwire stunt in Puerto Rico in 1978. Like Nik's stunt, Karl Wallenda had no safety equipment on that occasion and the fatal fall was captured on live TV.