Sunday, November 02, 2014

Nik Wallenda Crosses Chicago By Night, No Safety Devices, Part Way Blindfolded, Part Way Inclined -- Televised with a "10 Second Death Delay"

Here, quoting verbatim, from the first section  of a great story in today's Daily Beast, by Jacqui Goddard:


The heir to a tightrope walking family has tried some crazy stunts in his day. But his planned attempt to walk over Chicago on a slanted rope while blindfolded may be the craziest yet.
There isn’t a hint of intended irony in Nik Wallenda’s voice as he responds to That Question, the one thousands have asked him, the one he’s probably tired of addressing but entertains patiently, knowing that it is key to his reputation as King of the High Wire.

It’s the small matter of why he would rather risk death than wear a safety tether when he walks between skyscrapers 65 stories above the streets of the Windy City this Sunday, on an uphill high-wire three-quarters of an inch wide, at night, in near-freezing temperatures. Oh, and did we mention the blindfold?

“It’s nerve-wracking wearing a tether,” he shudders, in the way ordinary mortals shudder at the thought of him not wearing one. “The truth is, the dangers are real—I know; I’ve trained for them, I’ve prepared for them, and everything I do is calculated. I’m doing this because I love what I do. I know it’s hard for people to comprehend.”


Nik with his wife, Erendira, left, and sister Lijana

This is one of the best articles I have ever read on the symbolism of risk-taking by circus artists, rife with rich quotes from the Wallendas about how they view that symbolism and their work.

Link in a blink to read the complete story:

May the Gods of Circus be with Nik tonight.

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