(CBS) — Nik Wallenda says he’s happy his tightrope walk isn’t for a couple of days, given Friday’s blast of winter-like weather.

“Wow, what is happening in Chicago today? I’m glad I’m not walking today, that’s for sure,” he said at a media briefing.

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The King of the Highwire has been in town since Thursday and says he’s ready to walk from Marina City’s West Tower to the Leo Burnett Building on Sunday evening. He says a lot of his training is about strength endurance, especially in potentially high winds.

“That’s one of the challenges of what I do. It’s easy to get concerned early. I can look out the window and go, ‘Wow, how am I going to walk in this?’ But I’m pretty calm and confident the weather is going to be better,” he said. “If it gets bad enough, I go down to the safety of that wire, and I’ll wrap around and wait for help. I’ve got an amazing rescue crew. That’s how I can go out there so confident. That cable is always at my feet and I can always grab that and hold on.”

Wallenda says his balancing pole keeps him from going over.

“When I get hit with a gust of wind, I can counter that. It basically buys me time. I have something to work off to stay balanced,” he said.

He’ll be walking without a net — something he’s always done.

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“It costs a lot of money to put a net up,” he said, laughing. “It’s something my family, for generations, we have walked without nets. It’s just the way we’ve performed for generations. I know it’s hard for others to comprehend, but I really do, I’m confident that wire is a safe haven for me.”

In the end, his father, Terry Troffler, makes the final call as to whether Wallenda takes the wire.

Wallenda says he picked Chicago because of the skyline and even though its nickname is more about politics than the weather, he was up for the challenge.

“I love Chicago, I love the skyline. It’s the Windy City, and yes, I’ve heard the arguments that it’s about politics and not about weather. But that’s what attracted me to it. What better way to do something than in the Windy City.”

Wallenda will begin his walk at 6 p.m. Chicago time. The event will be broadcast live to 220 countries worldwide.



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