Wallenda: Spectacle, legacy inspire Chicago walk
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Nik Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls and an Arizona gorge on a high wire. Now he now has his sights on Chicago's skyscrapers.
He plans to walk between buildings 50 stories above the Windy City. He will attempt his Chicago walk Nov. 2. It will be shown on the Discovery Channel.
"I enjoy taking it up a notch," Wallenda, who is 35. He is a member of "The Flying Wallendas" family. "Chicago is home of the world's first skyscraper and my family is often referred to as the first family of the high wire.
He plans to work his way between one of the city's Marina Towers to the 635-foot-tall Leo Burnett Building. It will be the second-highest walk of his career. His longest was the Little Colorado River Gorge. That's near the Grand Canyon.
Wallenda said weather always is his biggest challenge. So he'll practice at his training camp in Sarasota, Florida. There he uses wind machines. They can be cranked up to 120 mph. He said he won't attempt the actual feat if winds are over 50 mph.
Wallenda said he'd like to make the walk without a safety net. Although using the nets is a state law, he hopes officials will allow him not to use one.
"It's art to me," he said. "I'm painting a picture, hopefully an inspirational picture (for people) that no matter what their dreams are that they can fulfill them ... as long as they work hard enough at it."
"I do what I feel will inspire and impress people. That's my job as an entertainer."