Lijana Wallenda, Nik Wallenda’s Sister: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Lijana Wallenda, Nik Wallenda‘s sister, is a high-wire walker from the famous Wallenda family, the Flying Wallendas.

She was injured in a near-fatal fall and returned to the high-wire in 2019 to cross Times Square on a tightrope with her brother. While she isn’t participating in the “Volcano Live!” walk on March 3, 2020, she will be cheering on her brother.

Lijana Wallenda was severely injured two years ago during a 40-foot fall from a high-wire, along with four other people. Sunday’s performance will be her first on a tightrope since the fall. The accident happened during an eight-person pyramid stunt during a Circus Sarasota rehearsal in 2017, along with members of her family, including Nik.

The brother-sister duo will start from opposite ends of the wire stretched between 1 Times Square and 2 Times Square, meet and cross in the middle of Times Square, and then continue to finish on opposite ends from where they started, according to ABC.

Read more about the location.

Lijana Wallenda and Nik Wallenda will wear safety harnesses for their performance, something Nik Wallenda typically does not like to do.

The stunt will air live on ABC from 8 to 10 p.m. EST on “Highwire Live in Times Square.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Lijana Was Injured in a Near-Fatal Fall

Terrifying Video Emerges Of Wallenda High-Wire Accident | TODAYFor the first time, we’re seeing heart-stopping video of the eight-person, high-wire stunt featuring the famed Wallenda family that went horribly wrong in 2017. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports for TODAY. » Subscribe to TODAY: http://on.today.com/SubscribeToTODAY » Watch the latest from TODAY: http://bit.ly/LatestTODAY About: TODAY brings you the latest headlines and expert tips on money, health and parenting. We wake up every morning to give you and your family all you need to start your day. If it matters to you, it matters to us. We are in the people business. Subscribe to our channel for exclusive TODAY archival footage & our original web series. Connect with TODAY Online! Visit TODAY's Website: http://on.today.com/ReadTODAY Find TODAY on Facebook: http://on.today.com/LikeTODAY Follow TODAY on Twitter: http://on.today.com/FollowTODAY Follow TODAY on Google+: http://on.today.com/PlusTODAY Follow TODAY on Instagram: http://on.today.com/InstaTODAY Follow TODAY on Pinterest: http://on.today.com/PinTODAY #Accident #HighWireStunt #TodayShow Terrifying Video Emerges Of Wallenda High-Wire Accident | TODAY2019-03-22T15:59:48.000Z

Lijana is performing her daring stunt two years after she fell from a high-wire and nearly died. She fell 40 feet during a rehearsal for Circus Sarasota. She was part of an eight-person pyramid when the group tumbled. Four other people were also injured.

Her brother, Nik Wallenda, was also a part of the pyramid which collapsed, sending Lijana and other family members tumbling to the ground. Nik Wallenda managed to grab the wire, and then held his sister’s head.

“I remember laying there and supporting my sister’s head. She broke every bone in her face,” he said.

He shared a video on Twitter which included parts of the 911 call after the fall.

“The high wire act just fell. We have multiple people on the ground,” a 911 caller said. There are four on the ground that are not moving. I would imagine we’ve got some pretty good injuries.”

Lijana broke every bone in her face and shattered several other bones. It took three plates and 72 screws to surgically repair her face.


She Will Cross Times Square at 1,300 Feet

Lijana Wallenda and Nik Wallenda will start at opposite ends of Times Square Sunday, meet in the middle and cross each other. Lijana will start at a lower elevation and walk uphill on a tightrope. Nik Wallenda will be walking downhill.

“One of the challenges that we have is we’re at 17 stories here but we’re at 25 stories there,” Wallenda said on Good Morning America, motioning to their respective starting points.

“It’s pretty steep on that end,” he said, referring to the side where he will be starting. “A little more than I expected, to be honest. So it’s stressful for me. I have to walk down that incline and the concern is, just like walking up or down stairs, if you’re walking up stairs it’s closer to you. If you’re walking down stairs they’re farther away. So it is, it’s extremely intimidating for me just standing up here looking at it,” he said.


3. The Times Square Walk Will Be Her Longest And Highest Stunt

The Times Square High-Wire stunt, at 25 stories high and 1,300 feet long, will be twice the height of any of her prior stunts and quadruple the length, Nik Wallenda said during a Good Morning America interview.

The duo will cross between 1 Times Square and 2 Times Square, beginning at opposite ends and crossing in the middle.

Nik Wallenda said the walk is both physically and mentally challenging in the ABC interview.

“I would say the physical aspect is something we’ve done a long time. However, after a bad accident, my sister hadn’t been on a wire for two years until I called her to see if she wanted to be a part of this one. This will be her first performance in front of an audience since that accident. So there is that physical aspect that she hasn’t been on the wire for a long time so that’s a major concern. And then, like you said, the mental aspect. After an accident, I know I suffered with challenges of having to relive that accident. I didn’t fall 40 feet. She’s the one who fell. I have concerns that when she gets up here I don’t know that she’ll take that first step. I think she will. I know that my family blood says never give up and continue on. But it is seriously a concern and I can tell you the reason why…It’s pretty intimidating to me and again I didn’t fall 40 feet. So what she’s having to overcome to me is almost impossible and I’m the one who’s done this my whole life as well.”


4. ‘I’m Nervous. I Will Tell You The Truth,’ She Said

Lijana Wallenda said she was nervous about the high-wire stunt following the accident that nearly killed her two years ago.

“I am nervous I will tell you the truth,” she said on a video release by Good Morning America.

Her 40-foot fall nearly killed her. It took 72 screws and three plates to repair her face after the fall broke every bone in it. Several other bones were also shattered.

“I’m just so guarded because I don’t want to injure my arm again or my foot again or my face again,” she said.

She seemed frustrated while practicing a tightrope walk in the video clip shared on ABC.

“My arm hurts. My foot hurts. My chin is still floating here,” she said.

Nik shared a video on Twitter which included parts of the 911 call after the fall.

“The high wire act just fell. We have multiple people on the ground,” a 911 caller said. There are four on the ground that are not moving. I would imagine we’ve got some pretty good injuries.”

Wallenda said he remembers holding his sister’s head as she lay injured on the ground.

“I remember laying there and supporting my sister’s head. She broke every bone in her face,” he said.


5. She Hadn’t Been On A High-Wire in Two Years

Until Nik Wallenda called his sister, asking her if she wanted to complete the Times Square High-Wire stunt with him, she had not been on a tightrope in two years.

She was seriously injured in a 40-foot fall in 2017 during an eight-person pyramid rehearsal on a highwire.

“Last time that I was on the wire like that, my worst nightmare came true so it’s really emotional,” she said in an ABC clip.

She broke every bone in her face, along with other bones in her body. It took three plates and 72 screws to surgically repair the bones in her face.

“My sister hadn’t been on a wire for two years until I called her to see if she wanted to be a part of this one,” Wallenda said during an interview with Good Morning America. “This will be her first performance in front of an audience since that accident.”

Lijana wants to perform the high-wire stunt, living up to her family motto, “Never Give Up.”

“What she’s having to overcome, to me, is almost impossible,” Nik Wallenda told ABC.

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