Nik Wallenda successfully crosses the windy city of Chicago on Discovery Channel

Nik Wallenda, “The King of the Highwire,” made history today after successfully crossing the Windy City of Chicago on a tightrope without a net or tether. Discovery Channel captured every heart-pounding moment live as he made the two-part walk in one of the windiest sections of Chicago at night.  SKYSCRAPER LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA aired live across Asia Pacific and in more than 220 countries and territories this morning, November 3, on Discovery Channel. The live event was hosted by NBC News’ Willie Geist, Natalie Morales and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore.

“It was such an incredible feeling to do this walk in Chicago.  The city holds a special place in my heart and have dreamed about doing this ever since I was a kid,” said the 35-year-old Wallenda.  “I feel blessed to have this opportunity and would like to thank everyone in the city of Chicago along with the Discovery Channel for trusting in my abilities.”

Commenting on the programme, Rahul Johri, Executive Vice President and General Manager - South Asia & Southeast Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Discovery Channel is known for its differentiated, topical and entertaining programming. Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda reflects our commitment to the Indian viewers and clients to present the high impact global events and the choice to watch them with the world.”

For the first of the two-part walk, Nik crossed more than two city blocks uphill at a 15-degree angle – approximately 8 stories – making it the steepest walk he’s ever attempted and the highest skyscraper crossing in the history of the famed Wallenda family. The walk stretched from the iconic Marina City's west tower to the Leo Burnett Building at more than 50 stories high above the Chicago River.

After completing the first part of the walk, Wallenda said, “That’s the hardest part of what I do, is waiting to go. I want to go. I want to get on that wire. I want to get across to the other side.”

For the second part of the walk – spanning from the Marina City's west tower to the east tower – Nik added a blindfold, making it the first time he’s ever attempted such a feat.
“I think you probably saw me shaking like a leaf,” Wallenda said after the blindfold part of the walk was successfully completed. “That wire was shaking underneath me and I just wanted to make it to the other side.”

Nik is a seventh generation member of the famed Wallenda family and dedicated today’s walk to his great-grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.  

Nik earned two world records for his Chicago high-wire walk – one for the steepest incline and another for the highest walk while blindfolded.  With today’s walk, Nik now has 10 world records including the 2013 tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon which aired live on Discovery.

Discovery Channel shared insight about Nik, his family and training through videos, pictures, #SkyscraperLive and #SkyscraperLiveAsia Tweets and more. In addition, viewers got a front row seat to the event at  Available in 14 languages, the site brought viewers from around the world to Chicago.  With additional camera angles from the walk and a live backstage show with host Chris Jacobs, took viewers behind-the-scenes as Wallenda attempted his most thrilling high wire walk yet.
SKYSCRAPER LIVE WITH NIK WALLENDA is produced by Peacock Productions for Discovery with Gretchen Eisele, Colleen Halpin, Knute Walker, Benjamin Ringe and Betsy Wagner serving as executive producers.  Sharon Scott is President and GM of Peacock Productions.  Executive Producers for Discovery Channel are Howard Swartz and Denise Contis.  Other Executive Producers include Nik Wallenda, David Simone, Winston Simone and Shelley Ross. To learn more, go to on Facebook at and on Twitter @Discovery. 


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