Nik Wallenda has been on a nonstop media tour since checking another entry off his daredevil bucket list on June 23, 2013, when he became the first person in history to tightrope-walk across a section of the Grand Canyon. Only days after his accomplishment, the daredevil is already thinking about, and planning, his sequels.
"I'm hoping to do something over a baseball field, very, very soon. A Major League Baseball game, I'm hoping this summer," Wallenda tells Yahoo! TV. "We're still in negotiations, so I probably shouldn't name it yet, but we're getting close for sure. ... I'm hoping to be able to walk over a Major League Baseball game by the end of August."
Wallenda also mentions the pyramids in Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Eiffel Tower as being on his wish list for future tightrope walks, though he's also in the planning stages for a more local event: a tightrope walk between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building in New York City.
NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly has already said he'll nix that idea, saying Wallenda's crossing of the Grand Canyon put him above the Colorado River, but walking the 4,000 feet between the two NYC skyscrapers would put everybody walking on the ground below in danger.
Wallenda is undeterred, though, as all of his past events, such as his 2012 ABC-broadcast walk across Niagara Falls, have taken years of planning and permission gathering. The falls crossing involved getting a law changed, for instance, and he began working on the Grand Canyon walk all the way back in 2008.
"The process begins behind closed doors, in my own offices, where my staff will get together, and we'll come up with a list of what the needs are, like how we keep the public safe," says Wallenda, who recently released his autobiography, "Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line." "We kind of go through it, think about what the worst cases are. We [address] all those and answer what all the questions would be, figure out all the logistics, before we even approach any city officials or government officials.
"We try to get all of that stuff done in advance. These events are very complex, more complex than people realize, and we want to make sure no one [in the public] is ever injured. That's our No. 1 priority."
The Grand Canyon walk isn't likely to be Wallenda's final collaboration with Discovery Channel. He says he's talking with the network about an adventure reality series, an idea that probably should have already come to fruition, given his adventure event cred.
[Related: Nik Wallenda Canyon Walk Earns 13M Viewers]
"I would love to a reality series, and that's part of my dream with Discovery as an amazing partner," the 34-year-old says. "We're having some meetings actually now, talking about doing that and having a series where you'll get to know me a little bit better. I may play more of a hosting role than anything, but we'll see what happens."
Throughout his training and the planning necessary for his tightrope walks, Wallenda has become something of an expert in many different areas, from his own athletic training, of course, to the engineering matters involved with, say, making sure there's a reliable anchor for the rope he's going to use to walk across air that's the height of the Empire State Building above the ground.
"To be honest with you, it's been in my family for 200 years, seven generations, so I kind of grew up [understanding] the engineering, and those engineers that I work with are sometimes blown away by my knowledge of it. But it's amazing what a family can learn … it's not as though you can go to college and learn to do what we do, although I'm working on the Nik Wallenda Training Camp, where people will be able to do that. Tightrope walking, but really, it's more about overcoming challenges and learning that the impossible isn't impossible if you're willing to work hard enough and set your mind to it."
And there was just one more thing we had to ask Wallenda about, regarding the Grand Canyon walk and his outfit. Though he is a member of the famous Flying Wallendas, we hadn't expected that he would be wearing something sparkly and Spandex-y, but ... jeans and a T-shirt?
Check out photos from "Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda":
"Well (laughing), that's important to me, because I want people to realize that Nik Wallenda is an average guy with a very unique job," he says. "I want people to relate to the fact that you'll see me in the grocery store shopping this weekend in my hometown with my wife and three kids. And [on June 23], you saw me walk across the Grand Canyon doing something that no one in the world ever did. I want people to know that Nik Wallenda is a humble person, he's a real person, and he's relatable, and that's why I wear jeans and a T-shirt ... if I was wearing sequins or tights, whatever, it kind of sets me apart.
"I'm normal. I bleed just like everybody else, and have the same challenges as everyone else for sure. I argue with my wife, too. I have a teenager that I'm raising. I just have a very unique occupation."
Watch the beginning and final moments of Wallenda's Grand Canyon walk:
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- Nik Wallenda
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