The show must go on – and for Nik Wallenda, it did


SARASOTA – The show goes on for Nik Wallenda and his circus family after this week’s horrific high wire accident, and Nik finished off Thursday’s performance for other performers and their families, back on the wire.

It was a standing ovation for the man of the hour, as he descends from the high wire, just one day after watching his circus family fall to the ground. “Obviously extremely emotional,” says Wallenda.

Through the entire performance, his family on his mind. “The biggest challenge is it keeps replaying in my head over and over again, but it didn’t happen while I was on the wire thank god,” Wallenda says.

Even after the accident, Wallenda says the wire is where he’s comfortable. “I can’t explain it to anybody any better than that’s my life,” says Wallenda. “It’s peaceful when I’m on that wire.”

The hardest part? “I’ve even had the thought of being like, I feel selfish for catching the wire, I know that sounds crazy, but you know these are the things that I’m gonna have to deal with,” says Wallenda.

Fighting through the memory of the fall, Wallenda nails his performance, to honor the injured.

He steps off the high wire with a very emotional embrace. “That’s my cousin Blake,” says Wallenda. “I mean both of us caught the wire, both of us had to watch that, we’ve been in this most of our lives together.”

It’s together the Wallenda’s will triumph through tragedy, as they always have.

“This is who we are, this is what we’re made to do, this is what God created us for,” says Wallenda. “I can’t explain it, this is my purpose in life, there’s a lot of people who struggle with what’s their purpose in life, you know they have jobs that they go to because it’s about the paycheck at the end of the week, this is not a job it’s not about the paycheck, this is my purpose this is my being.”

As for the two patients still at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, their conditions remain the same. One in critical condition, the other in guarded. But they are expected to make a full recovery.

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Nicole Sommavilla
Multimedia journalist Nicole Sommavilla is a recent graduate from Ithaca College. Nicole was born and raised in Westchester, New York before she made the move to Florida. Being new to area, she loves meeting people and exploring the Suncoast. In her free time Nicole enjoys working out, being with her friends and family, and exploring the natural lands that surround her. Nicole has always loved writing and storytelling, which is how she discovered her passion for news. If you have a story idea or a news tip, feel free to email her at You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook for updates!