Tightrope walkers, also known as funambulists, have been practicing their craft since the times of Ancient Greece. One of the most famous of the funambulists was François Gravelet, who was the first to traverse a tight rope suspended above Niagara Falls. He even paused mid-journey to pull up a beer on a rope from the Maid of the Mist. While funambulists have come and gone since then, one family has made a life of walking tightropes, some of their members even setting world records. The Flying Wallendas have been practicing their craft since the 1940s, where they debuted their most famous stunt, the seven-person chair pyramid in 1947. Unfortunately, tightrope walking has its risks, as the Gainesville Sun reports.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribute posted the video of a tight-rope walking accident that happened back in 2017.
The accident happened as Nil Wallenda’s troupe practiced an 8-person stunt in a pyramid formation. As they practiced, Wallenda’s sister, Lijana Wallenda began to teeter. The group was about halfway across the wire.
Five performers tumbled thirty feet to the ground, while Wallenda and two others were able to catch themselves on the rope. Remarkably, no one died in the accident. The doctors who treated the injuries said it was a miracle.
However, at least one family member has litigation pending against Wallenda, claiming injuries from tightrope walking left her with a permanent limp.