Update: 9:05 p.m. EST: Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda set two world records Sunday, first crossing the Chicago River from Marina City to the Leo Burnett Building 671 feet in the air and then blindfolded between the Marina City towers. The daredevil then took a victory lap around the Marina City West Tower roof.
"The big thing is the intimidation factor," Wallenda said, adding it's tough "to look down from 600 feet in the air."
"There were some gusts of winds," he said, adding he trained a lot more thoroughly for Sunday's stunt than he did for crossing the Grand Canyon.
Wallenda's son, Amadeus, said he thought what is father did was "pretty cool but I'd rather be a proctologist."
Nik Wallenda, 34, walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon in 2013, and the daredevil will try to defy death Sunday as he crosses the Chicago River on a high wire, blindfolded. A live stream begins at 7 p.m. EST and broadcast live on the Discovery Channel.
Wallenda will look to make the feat even more dangerous by performing two tightrope walks, the second while blindfolded on a slack rope. The tightrope artist will start from Marina City's West Tower and walk to the Leo Burnett Building. That trip across the Chicago River will be with his eyes wide open. The second tightrope walk will take place between the Marina City's East and West Towers. Wallenda will not be wearing a harness and will be moving up a slight incline, starting at a height of 588 feet and ending at 671 feet, DNAinfo Chicago reported. The trip across the Chicago River is 454 feet while the walk between the towers covers 94 feet.
If successful, Wallenda would set the record for steepest incline for a tightrope walk between buildings and the highest blindfolded walk, the Chicago Tribune said. Wallenda said his safety crew can reach him in 90 seconds at any point on the rope. "That's how I can go out there so confident as well, knowing that the cable is always a safe haven whether I'm over the streets of Chicago or in my backyard," Wallenda said.
Because of the dangerous nature of the performance, many were upset Illinois ignored laws that require safety measures for any performance above 20 feet. The Flying Wallendas, as a troupe, has lost three members while performing death-defying stunts. Karl Wallenda, the great-grandfather of Nik, died performing a walk between two buildings in Puerto Rico in 1973, the Chicago Tribune reported. The Discovery Channel is airing the event on a 10-second delay and will stop the broadcast in such an event.
To experience more of the Chicago River tightrope event, there is a 360-degree interactive walkthrough of the feat.
The Wallenda Chicago River live stream can be vewed below. The Discovery Channel airs "Skyscrape Live" at 7 p.m. EST.