Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks between Chicago skyscrapers

Mon Nov 3, 2014 1:10pm EST
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By Mary Wisniewski and Agnieszka Zielinska

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Daredevil Nik Wallenda broke two world records on Sunday with two high-wire walks between Chicago skyscrapers without a net or harness, doing the second walk blindfolded.

To the cheers of a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands on streets below, Wallenda spoke cheerfully of the view as he walked the wire over the Chicago River. As he approached the end of the first walk he said, "God is in control."

For the first walk on a steel wire, the 35-year-old Wallenda went more than two city blocks uphill, rising at a 19-degree angle, from the west tower of the Marina City towers to the Leo Burnett Building more than 50 stories above the Chicago River.

This was the highest skyscraper walk in the history of the "Flying Wallenda" family of acrobats, and the first time Wallenda attempted a walk at such a steep angle. The walk broke the world record for an incline high-wire walk, according to a representative from Guinness World Records interviewed on the Discovery Channel, which broadcast the event.

For the second part of the walk, Wallenda walked blindfolded from Marina City's west tower to the east tower, breaking the world record for the highest blindfolded high-wire walk.

Wallenda said in an interview on Discovery after the walks that more training had gone into them than into his previous walk across the Grand Canyon.

"I felt confident," Wallenda said. "I felt ready."

Wallenda has also previously walked over the brink of Niagara Falls.   Continued...

Daredevil Nik Wallenda walks along a tightrope between two skyscrapers suspended 500 feet above the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois, November 2, 2014.   REUTERS/John Gress