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Chicago Skyline Big Draw For Tight Rope Walker Nik Wallenda

CHICAGO (CBS) -- 50 feet up or 500 feet up, the king of the high-wire says what's the difference. That as Nik Wallenda prepares to walk a tightrope about 500 feet above the Chicago River this fall.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez talked with the daredevil.

Wallenda says he picked Chicago because he, "absolutely" loves the city."

"Where can you find a more beautiful city with beautiful skylines like that right on the water?" he said.

But Wallenda won't be checking out the skyline, when he attempts what he calls his most challenging tightrope walk yet.


It starts atop Marina City and ends on the roof of the Leo Burnett Building. It's two blocks and 50 stories up and all uphill at a fifteen degree angle.

Wallenda admits there is a danger involved in the stunt but, "There's danger in everything we do. There is danger in driving in a car to get to the building today."

He says he is always looking for ways to make it more exciting and in fact there's second part to the walk from Marina Tower West, to East.

Wallenda says the weather will likely be his worst enemy on the tight rope walk.

"Whether those winds are too strong or whether the cable wants to freeze or there is a snowstorm, we just don't know," he said.

His focus will be right on his next step.

"I'm very, very focused on what I'm doing. Of course that's extremely important that I stay focused and don't get distracted," he said.

The walk is slated for Sunday Nov 2, but there are concerns about a state law that requires a net or safety device if a tightrope walker or other performer is more than 20 feet off the ground. Wallenda doesn't use nets.

The city is already talking to the state about the law. It is not the first time Wallenda has encountered such a law.

"I had to change a law that was over 100 years old to get the permission to walk across Niagara Falls," he said. "They have the exact same law in New York state and I was able to get permission from the state to bypass that law through legislation and I feel we have the support of the city, we have the support of the proper officials to get permission."

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