103-Year-Old Man Breaks Guinness World Record and Becomes Oldest Person to Ever Go Tandem Skydiving
Retired World War II veteran Al Blaschke breaks world record for skydiving. The 103-year-old novel coronavirus survivor took to the sky in celebration of his two grandsons who just graduated college.
They say age is nothing but a number. Many would argue the validity of that age-old saying. However, a certain resident of The Wesleyan Independent Living has taken a massive step in proving its accuracy.
Al Blaschke, a 103-year-old man, has broken the record for tandem skydiving. On July 3rd, 2020, Blaschke took a 14,000-ft jump with his two grandsons who had just graduated from college, shattering the previous record held by 101-year-old-jumper, Bryson William Verdun Hayes.
Blaschke, a retired World War II aircraft craftsman, made his first jump in 2017 on his 100th birthday and revealed that he got the idea when someone joked that he should celebrate his 97th birthday by going skydiving.
The Spanish flu survivor noted the idea but decided to wait until he was a hundred to attempt the stunning feat. Al then planned meticulously, keeping his body in optimum shape so he could achieve his dream. Wendy Faulkner, one of Al's instructors on his first jump, recalls:
"He came in, and we saw that, amazingly, he was in great shape for a 100-year-old."
After the jump, which he made from 10,000ft, Blaschke wasn't satisfied as he wished the experience had lasted a little longer. The then-100-year-old revealed that he saw a lot more than he expected to see, given his aging eyes and felt the experience was a bit too brief.
The WWII Veteran, nonetheless enjoyed his jump as he admitted to ABC News that he never expected to live so long, but the adventurous man would return in a few years with two of his proteges, to attempt an even more daring jump.
A woman fell 5000ft to the ground after her parachute failed while skydiving.
Kevin Blaschke, a first-time skydiver, expressed his joy at being able to experience the moment with his beloved grandpa, stating that helping Al break the world record was just "icing on the cake." USA's Kathryn "Kitty" Hodges holds the women's record at 103 years and 129 days old.
Al's dive went smoothly, with all parties landing safely, although he admitted to feeling dizzy while airborne. However, as a much younger person in Quebec painfully realized last year, not all skydiving endeavors go according to plan.
The 30-year-old woman, who remains unnamed, fell 5,000ft to the ground when her parachute failed to open as she participated in a jump at Quebec's Parachutisme Adrénaline in Canada. Luckily, the woman suffered no long term injuries as she crashed into a wooded area upon landing.
However, it is worth noting that, according to the United States Parachute Association, there were approximately 2,147 injuries for the country total in 2018, equating to 0.07 percent of all jumps, while fatalities were much less.
It remains to be seen if Al Blaschke has any more breathtaking endeavors up his sleeve, although this most recent one would take some beating!
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