He’s THE seventh generation of the daredevil Wallenda family in stunts, but Nik Wallenda is certainly making waves. The first person to cross the Grand Canyon and the Niagra Falls on a wire, in true family tradition,without a safety net, harness and completely untethered, he heads to the Windy City, Chicago. There he will walk from Marina City and back on a rope 5/8 of an inch. “So I will be walking at an incline of over 15 degrees the entire time which makes it very, very challenging because it takes more endurance,” he begins.
Stunts come naturally to him he tells us. “My great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, is a huge inspiration to me. He paved the way. I never had the opportunity to meet him. But I believe a lot of my dreams and visions come from him. And my parents who have taught me everything I know,” shares the daredevil, who started out at two, as a clown in a circus walking on wire even then.
Learning the ropes
Telling us more of his upcoming Chicago escapades, it seems that Wallenda needs more of a challenge, which is why he is set to prance along the skyline blindfolded. “I didn’t think it was possible to walk blindfolded! But I had to do something in addition to just this incline walk over the city… something that would grab the attention of viewers and set Twitter and Facebook on fire!” says the American, adding that it’s about carrying on a legacy, and doing things that are ‘bigger and grander’.
Taking us through the mind of a stunt performer, Wallenda explains that while he is always very excited, there are some nerves too. “It’s about being up here, getting acclimated with the surroundings and getting used to sirens, car horns and other distractions in a city,” he admits, hinting that these will be some of the difficulties he’ll face in Chicago. Apart from the gusty winds at 48 mph! But as the first to walk across the Grand Canyon, (his dream come true), we’re sure it’ll just be a walk in the park for this daredevil!
Live on Monday, November 3 at 5.30 am and repeat at 9 pm on Discovery Channel
Most dangerous stunt: Chicago. Uphill, windy and blindfolded!
A stunt you’re most proud of: Puerto Rico. I walked across the towers at the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan where my great grandfather lost his life.
Mental preparation: The physical part comes naturally now. But mind needs a lot of meditating and being positive.
Passing on the legacy: Despite what people think, I want my kids to do what they desire, be it this or becoming a doctor or lawyer.
Advice for aspiring daredevils: What– ever your dreams, you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it.
— Aakanksha Devi