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Man walks across tightrope between two skyscrapers - blindfolded

As you do.

Source: Discovery/YouTube

DAREDEVIL NIK WALLENDA wowed Chicago and the world Sunday with two hair-raising skyscraper crossings on high wires without a safety net or a harness, and performing one blindfolded.

“I feel incredible,” Wallenda said at a news conference in a nearby hotel after completing the tightrope walks. He entered wearing his blindfold, drawing laughter from reporters.

Recalling what made him nervous during his aerial performances, he said strong winds and the steeper-than-expected angle of the first high wire caused him to hurry his performance. Wallenda had practiced at a 15-degree angle but said the wire was actually at 19 degrees.

Nik Wallenda Source: Apexchange

“That cable looked like it was going straight up,” he said.

Thousands of cheering fans packed the streets around the city’s Marina City towers to watch the 35-year-old heir to the Flying Wallendas’ family business complete the back-to-back walks.

Wearing a bright red jacket, Wallenda tested the tension of the first wire. It took him about six and a half minutes to walk the 454 foot stretch from the Marina City west tower to the top of a building on the other side of the river. The tightrope began at 588 feet from the ground and ended at 671 feet.

Nik Wallenda Source: Apexchange

“I love Chicago and Chicago definitely loves me,” said Wallenda as he walked that wire, with the crowd below him screaming in support. “What an amazing roar!”

The next stage of Wallenda’s high-wire event he undertook blindfolded — a 94-foot walk 543 feet from the ground between the two Marina City towers. At a fast clip, he made the stretch in little more than a minute.

As he stepped from the wire, he tore off his blindfold and waved; the crowd erupted in cheers.

The Discovery Channel used a 10-second delay for the broadcast, which would have allowed producers to cut away if anything went wrong. Chicago city officials ignored a state law requiring safety nets for aerial acts higher than 20 feet, saying the law wasn’t intended for “elite” performers.

Nik Wallenda Source: Apexchange

Journalists covering yesterday’s event signed waivers relinquishing their right to claim emotional distress if they witness a catastrophe.

Two of his previous televised tightrope walks — over the brink of Niagara Falls in 2012 and across the Little Colorado River Gorge in 2013 — drew about 13 million viewers each.

What’s next? Wallenda has said he next wants to recreate a 1,200-foot-long high-wire walk made famous by his great-grandfather. The stunt at Tallulah Falls Gorge in Georgia included two headstands on the high wire.

“I’ve trained a bit to do a headstand on the wire, but I’ve never done it publicly because I’ve always said if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it on that walk with him,” Wallenda said, explaining that he wants to use vintage film of Karl Wallenda’s walk to create the illusion of the two of them sharing the high wire.

Read: In pictures: Daredevil successfully walks tightrope across Niagara Falls

Read: Video: US daredevil walks over Grand Canyon on tiny tightrope

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Associated Press

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