Nik Wallenda, Sarasota daredeveil and the world’ most prominent high-wire act today, announced on the Today Show this morning that he would do part of his televised skywalk in Chicago while blindfolded. “I enjoy challenging myself,” he said.
Wallenda, whose fame has grown considerably in the past couple years with nationally televised high-wire walks across Niagara Falls and part of the Grand Canyon, characterized the event as the most important of his career. It will be broadcast live on the Discovery Channel Nov. 2 at 7pm.
The walk will go across the Chicago River between a spot 500 feet above the ground and another 650 above the ground, meaning he will walk at a 15-degree incline. The more daring part, though, will come when he walks between the Marina City towers with a blindfold on.
Wallenda told the Today Show that he has never performed while blindfolded but has trained “intensively.” His greatest concern, he said, wasn’t the danger but making sure audiences knew he wasn’t faking that he could not see. He considered duct-taping his eyes shut, but ruled that out because in the event of an emergency he must be able to take the blind off.
Wallenda will prepare for the walk at Nathan Benderson Park in north Sarasota County, as he did before last year’s Grand Canyon walk.
When asked by Matt Lauer the simple question “Why?” Wallenda responded, “I’m inspiring others to challenge themselves.