Flying Wallendas have rich daredevil history, though not without tragedy - InfoNews

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Flying Wallendas have rich daredevil history, though not without tragedy

FILE- In this Jan. 30, 1962 file photo, the Great Wallendas walk the high wire during their three-tier seven-person pyramid performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit, Michigan. During the performance the pyramid formation collapsed and the performers fell to the ground injuring performers Jana Schepp and Mario Wallenda, as well as killing performers Richard Faughnan and Dieter Schepp. From left to right, bottom row, are, Dieter Schepp; Mario Wallenda; Richard Faughnan and Gunther Wallenda. From left ro right in the second row are Karl Wallenda and Herman Wallenda. Sitting on chair is Jana Schepp. On Friday, June 15, 2012, Karl’s great grandson, Nick Wallenda, will attempt a high wire walk over Niagara Falls on live television, hoping to write his famous family's name into the 153-year-old legend of daredevils who've "conquered" the natural wonder. (AP Photo, File)
June 15, 2012 - 3:15 AM

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - A daredevil from the Wallenda family of circus performers is ready to add yet another amazing feat to the storied and sometimes tragic family history with his walk across Niagara Falls.

Nik Wallenda's great-grandfather, Karl, was the patriarch of the modern day Wallendas and himself walked over the Tallulah Gorge on a tightrope. However he died at age 73 when he fell from a wire in Puerto Rico.

The Wallendas trace their fearless roots to 1780 Austria-Hungary, when ancestors travelled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists. Nik Wallenda is a seventh-generation member of the circus performers.

Fourteen family members perform today in various troupes.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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