The acclaimed tight-rope artist walked some 50 stories above the Chicago River
Nik Wallenda has pulled off his latest death-defying stunt.
The seventh-generation tightrope artist, 35, successfully completed a two-part walk between Chicago skyscrapers on Sunday night in a stunt that aired live on Discovery.
Facing a steep incline in one of Chicago’s windiest corridors – some 50 stories above the frigid Chicago River – Wallenda stayed focused, even during the blindfolded portion of the walk.
Before the walk, he told PEOPLE he had trained extensively in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida, instructing his support team to do everything they can to push him off the wire.
“My wife, my mom, my father, they are physically pushing me,” he said. “All my guys have been shoving me, which is way tougher than any 45-m.p.h. wind gust. They are really making me work hard, which is what I want.”
As he always does, the self-described “family man that does what daredevils do” had the full support of his wife of 14 years, Erendira, and parents Terry and Delilah, all of whom are veteran wire walkers themselves.
His biggest fans, kids Yanni, 16, Amadaos, 13, and Evita, 11, were also on hand to watch their dad.
“We’ll go out to dinner and I’ll have an incredible night’s sleep,” he told PEOPLE earlier of his post-walk plans. “It’s really about celebrating with my family.”
And he already has his sights set on his next big challenge.
“Next year is the 45th anniversary of my great-grandfather’s biggest walk, which was across Tallulah Gorge in Georgia,” Wallenda says of his idol, famed wire walker Karl Wallenda, who died in 1978 during a high-wire stunt in Puerto Rico.
“He did a headstand on the wire, and I’ve never done one in public before. I want to recreate that walk, his greatest. He’s my hero and my inspiration and I’m hoping there might be a way for me to actually simulate walking the wire with him.”
And in February, he plans to recreate his family’s famous seven-person pyramid.
“We’re going to do that in my hometown of Sarasota,” he says. “There’s a lot of family history there. It’s going back to my roots.”