Street magician and “endurance artist” David Blaine has begun his latest challenge: he will hang upside down above a skating rink in New York for 60 hours.
As always with Blaine’s stunts, there are many risks associated with the feat, including the possibility of a stroke, blindness, blood hemmoraghing in the brain, and restricted blood flow to his lower extremities.
Even if he is able to withstand the full 60 hour trial without suffering damaging physical impairment, his ordeal will culminate with a final challenge — a “Dive of Death” in which Blaine will fall 44 feet to the ground.
Sound like fun?
Magician David Blaine strung himself upside down above Central Park’s Wollman ice skating rink in New York City on Monday morning and planned to stay there for 60 hours — despite doctors’ warnings that he could go blind.
Wearing a safety harness attached to a crossbar, Blaine dangled by his feet from a large steel scaffold structure.
“Live with Regis and Kelly” host Kelly Ripa also put on a harness and hung upside down with Blaine on her show Monday morning.
Blaine stopped eating “about a week ago,” he told Ripa, so that he won’t have to go to the bathroom, other than using his catheter.
“I’ll need lots of liquids so I won’t have to go into organ failure again, which has happened twice,” he said.
Other medical difficulties: Swelling of the eyes and “there’s the possibility of blood hemorrhaging in the brain,” he told Ripa, along with going into an altered state due to sleep deprivation.
Doctors, who will be monitoring him throughout the feat, say the increase in blood pressure raises the risk of stroke or blindness, and gravity could restrict the blood flow to his lower extremities.
Blaine will have control of the cables suspending him and will have front-to-back and side-to-side maneuverability. He said he will periodically lower himself closer to ground to interact with fans during the stunt.
The spectacle is set to conclude in an ABC television special Wednesday night when Blaine takes what he calls the “Dive of Death” and falls 44 feet to the ground.