Setting two world records, Daredevil Nik Wallenda successfully cheated death Sunday night when he walked between two skyscrapers in Chicago on a high wire without a safety net or a harness.
"I love Chicago and Chicago definitely loves me," said Wallenda as he walked the wire, Fox News reports.
Discovery Channel aired the two-plus hour event live, Time reports. However, the channel maintained a 10-second delay so as to cut away if Wallenda fell to his death. The wire he walked on was 3/4 inch (1.91 cm) thick, suspended hundreds of feet above ground. Adding to the thrill, he did one of the walks blindfolded.
At about 6 p.m., Wallenda tested the tension of the wire. In around six and a half minutes he walked the wire at a 19 degree inline from the Marina City West tower to the top of a building on the other side of the river. Wearing a bright red jacket, the resident of Florida said that the chilly Chicago winds didn't have the potential to stall him. "Yes there's some wind, yes it's cool, but it's not unbearable," he said.
Wallenda, who created a must-watch act by conquering the Windy City skyline, was cheered by thousands of roaring spectators, USA Today reports. The fans had gathered on the streets of Marina City. After completing the act, the 35-year-old heir to the Flying Wallendas' family business waved to the roaring crowd.
Referring to the crowd of thousands below him screaming in support, he said: "What an amazing roar," The National Post reports.
Months of preparations included helicopters lifting cable to the rooftops, road closures and clearances from the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Marina City residents were prohibited from using laser pointers, camera flashes, drones, grilling or anything that could interfere or disturb Wallenda.
Previously, two of his televised tightrope walks - over the brink of Niagara Falls in 2012 and across the Little Colorado River Gorge in 2013 - had drawn around 13 million viewers each.