EXCLUSIVE: Wallenda stunt team talks for first time about high wire accident

TAMPA, FL — In an exclusive interview on The TODAY Show, World Record stunt performer Nik Wallenda announced that New York’s famed Big Apple Circus, which went bankrupt last year, will return in the fall, and will star the Wallenda Family. Some of the performers are still recovering from an accident in February, when the eight performers, practicing an 8-man pyramid, fell more than 28 feet to the ground.

The troupe members appeared in an exclusive interview for the first time since the accident. Wallenda’s sister, Lijana, says she broke all of the bones in her face. Her jaw was wired shut for more than a month, and she now has three plates and 72 screws in her face. Wallenda’s aunt, Rietta, who tops the pyramid, was snagged by troupe member Tom Blakewell, and credits him for saving her life.

When asked if the performers have thought about who caused the accident, Wallenda replied, “I think we ask ourselves what could we have done differently – that’s natural.”

Big Apple Circus, a 40-year institution, went bankrupt last year. Sarasota-based investment firm Compass Partners purchased the circus last month for $1.3 million.

RELATED: 5  injured in high wire accident; They’re ‘lucky to be alive,’ doctors say

 

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