For the first time, the member of the Orlando Magic Stunt Team that took a horrific fall during a basketball game is speaking out about the accident.
31-year-old Jamie Woode suffered multiple injuries after losing her footing in a routine stunt during an Orlando Magic game versus the New York Knicks on Nov. 13.
Woode told Local 6 she doesn’t want her fall to force other cheerleaders to stay on the ground.
Woode said she is able to walk on her own, but will have to wear a body brace for the next few months. The cheerleader fractured three vertebrae and broke a rib in the accident.
“Two feet were supposed to land on the shoulders and only one made it,” said Woode.
A veteran cheerleader, Woode has performed the stunt and several others as planned thousands of times. In fact, Woode won a national championship while at UCF.
She’s also no stranger to falling. In her 20 years experience as a cheerleader, Woode has fallen hundreds of times, she said. But it's never kept down.
Injuries aside, the difference between this fall and the others is the number of people watching. 18,000 people at the Amway Center and a nationwide television audience watched as she tumbled head first on to the hard wood court.
“I was a little embarrassed and just wanted to get off the court,” said Woode.
As Woode was taken off the court, she put the audience at ease by waving.
“As soon as they started wheeling me, I heard the applause from the crowd. And it was my way of thanking them,” said Woode.
After Woode’s fall, the University of Florida decided to prohibit its cheerleaders from doing stunts in the air as a precautionary measure.
There was a lot of backlash from cheerleaders on that team.
Woode said she doesn’t agree with grounding cheerleaders.
“As a cheerleader, your number one goal is to perform,” said Woode. “To hear that was taken away from them, it breaks my heart."