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Nik Wallenda begins practicing in Benderson Park for Chicago wire walk

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Bradenton resident Nik Wallenda has begun preparations in Sarasota County for his next televised tightrope walk.

Wallenda, 35, began practicing Tuesday at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle (Cattlemen at DeSoto roads), preparing for his Nov. 2 skywalk, which includes walking from one of two Marina Towers buildings in downtown Chicago, then traveling more than two city blocks across the Chicago River on an uphill 15-degree angle to the Leo Burnett Building.

Then, Wallenda will walk on tightrope -- blindfolded -- to the other Marina Towers building.

While his practices officially begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Wallenda tweeted Tuesday afternoon he was testing the tightrope at Benderson Park.

"First test of the incline practice cable #SkyscraperLive #WallendaLive," he tweeted.

Wallenda's Chicago wire walk will be televised at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, on the Discovery Channel.

Wallenda is part of the renowned Sarasota acrobat family, "The Flying Wallendas," famed for aerial feats and tightrope walking with

out a safety net. Family patriarch Karl Wallenda fell to his death March 22, 1978, from a wire 10 stories high in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was 73.

In 2011, Nik Wallenda completed the walk with his mother, Delilah Wallenda.

Weather figures to be a factor in the Chicago stunt as does time. Since this walk will be at night, the wire will be painted white and monitored for ice buildup.

Wallenda's tightrope practices will continue until Oct. 28 and are open to the public.

His daily training schedule:

Monday -- 6 p.m.

Tuesday -- off.

Wednesday -- 6 p.m.

Thursday -- 6 p.m.

Friday -- 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday -- 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Sunday -- 3 p.m.

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