Nik Wallenda, “The King of the Highwire” is back at it again. This time, he is heading to the historic windy city of Chicago to attempt his most audacious and challenging tightrope walk yet. And like the legendary Wallenda family tradition, he will do it all without a net or harness. He is also planning to walk a portion of the tightrope walk over the Chicago skyline wearing a blindfold.
Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda will air LIVE globally in over 220 countries on Monday, November 3 at 5:30 am and a special telecast at 9 pm exclusively on Discovery Channel. The live event will be hosted by NBC News’ Willie Geist, Natalie Morales and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore.
In June 2013, Nik became the first person to ever successfully traverse the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Globally, 30.4 million viewers across 186 countries tuned in to witness the historic live event which generated nearly 40,000 tweets per minute, with #Skywire holding seven of the trending topics worldwide and generating 1 million mentions for the day. The special was recognised as the most social show across all broadcast and cable networks in the U.S. It was also recently honoured with an Interactive Emmy for Multi-platform Storytelling for its companion website, which featured compelling video, 360-degree interactive views, backstage moments, real-time social updates and many other digital elements.
“I’m always pushing myself both physically and emotionally. I hope to inspire people around the world and show that the impossible is not so impossible if you set your mind to it,” said the 35-year-old Nik. “This has been a dream of mine and something that I’ve been practising for a while.”
“For both parts of the tightrope walk, I’m going to face challenges like I’ve never experienced before,” said Nik. “I’ll not only need incredible physical strength to complete this walk, but laser-focused concentration. I’m incredibly excited to show the world what you can do if you put your mind to it, pursue your dreams and never give up.”
Fans and viewers across the globe, including those in Southeast Asia, will also be able to witness Nik’s upcoming walk via a LIVE streaming multi-platform companion experience on DiscoveryChannelAsia.com. Several cameras which will be attached to Nik, will provide viewers multiple LIVE raw angles of the walk as it happens. Viewers and fans can stay updated on the walk and also experience the walk through a 360-degree panoramic simulation on the groundbreaking global website – skyscraperlive.com.
For the first part of the tightrope crossing, Nik will walk further than two city blocks – uphill rising to a 15-degree angle – from the iconic Marina City’s west tower to the Leo Burnett Building at more than 50 stories high above the Chicago River. Not only will this be the highest skyscraper walk in the history of the Flying Wallenda family, it will be the first time that he has ever attempted it at such a steep angle. Nik will then be blindfolded for the second part of the tightrope walk, which will span from the Marina City’s west tower to the east tower. Dozens of cameras will be positioned across the city and on helicopters – capturing every step as Nik attempts to cross one of the windiest sections of Chicago.
A seventh-generation member of famed “Flying Wallenda’s,” Nik began performing with his family as a toddler and made his first professional tightrope walk at just 13 years old. He hopes this latest feat will inspire others to go after their dreams and dedicates it to his family, particularly his great-grandfather, the legendary Karl Wallenda, who died after falling from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978.
Nik will be joined in Chicago by his wife and three children, his close friends and an engineering team led by his father Terry Troffer.
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. Howard Swartz serves as executive producer for Discovery. Other Executive Producers include Nik Wallenda, David Simone, Winston Simone and Shelley Ross.