SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) - Despite strong objections from Nik Wallenda, a new video is out showing the tragic collapse of the eight person pyramid during a rehearsal in Sarasota, Florida.
The February 2017 accident injured five troupe members, two of them severely.
Just like they had done at least 100 times before, the Wallenda troupe practiced their famous, and dangerous, eight-person pyramid.
With a spotlight trained 28 feet above the circus floor, the men and women walked slowly across the high wire.
Nik Wallenda was on the bottom, in back.
Suddenly, it appears a female performer in front loses her balance. Five members tumbled to the floor.
Nik Wallenda posted a message on his Facebook page.
“I have been a sort of a wreck to be honest. I've shed a lot of tears if I'm being completely vulnerable. Having to re-live that accident yet again,” said Wallenda.
Wallenda said he feels like he may have PTSD, and told his wife, for the first time, recently he considered quitting as he struggled with fear while practicing a seven man pyramid in New York.
He said his friends and family, including his sister Lijana and aunt Rietta, are doing well.
“In fact, all of them, with the exception of my sister, have been back on stage performing in one capacity or another, which is nothing short of miraculous from that height,” he said.
A few months after the tragedy, a recovering Rietta, on top of the pyramid, looked on the bright side, despite multiple broken bones.
“When our pyramid collapsed, not one of us have a spinal cord injury, a brain injury,” she said.
“We've faced triumph and tragedy. A lot of great triumphs, and but also a lot of tragedies, but through it all, we've always continued on,” said Wallenda.
He hopes others learn from this, to always keep going, no matter what.
His motto is "never give up."
On Facebook, he said he's working on something big.
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