Image: The Flying Wallendas 7-Man Pyramid 2005 (here)
Attribution: kevint3141Image: Nik Wallenda on a tight rope from Medieval
Fare to Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland (here)
T for Tight-rope Artists in ABC of Sports
The Flying Wallendas led by Karl comprised a daredevil stunt team, most known for high wire pyramid acts without a safety net.
In 1962, while performing at the Shrine Circus at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum, the front man on the wire faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Three fell to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan, Karl's son-in-law; and nephew Dieter Schepp. Karl injured his pelvis, and his adopted son, Mario, was paralyzed from the waist down.
Other tragedies included that of Karl's sister-in-law, Rietta, who fell to her death in 1963, and his son-in-law Richard Guzman who was killed in 1972 after touching a live electric wire while holding part of the metal rigging. Nonetheless, Karl decided to go on. He repeated the pyramid act in 1963 and 1977.
On March 22, 1978, during a promotional walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Karl Wallenda fell from the wire and died. He was 73 (Wiki)
A family act
Dare-devils on high wire
Without safety nets
Had its share of tragedies
Never had been an act since
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