103-Year-Old Man Breaks Record for Oldest Tandem Skydive

Lizzy Buczak
July 08, 2020 - 9:35 am

The celebration of a lifetime.

A 103-year-old man jumped from 14,000 feet and straight into the Guinness World Record book.

Al Blaschke is officially the oldest man to successfully complete a tandem parachute jump.

Blaschke previously attempted the feat in 2017 to celebrate his 100th birthday. He was beat out by Verdun Hayes, the 101-year-old former record holder.

Born on January 4, 1917, Blaschke is a retired craftsman who survived the Spanish Flu, the Depression, World War II, and coronavirus.

He explained that he completed the impressive stunt at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos in Texas to celebrate his two grandsons graduating from college, KVUE noted.

"I'm excited to see my grandsons up there – that's what I'm excited about," Blaschke told the reporters who gathered for the historic moment. It was the first jump for his grandsons, Jason, from Texas A&M, and Kevin, from the University of Texas.

"That's my dream. I never thought I'd be around this long,” Blaschke said, adding, "I will not jump just to jump. I jump to celebrate something.”

He explained that being joined by his grandchildren made this jump more special.

"Oh yes, this was altogether way different than my first jump," Blaschke said post-jump. "This was a real jump."

Along with his instructor, Don Cameron, he reached speeds of 120 miles per hour during the free fall to 6,000 feet. The thrill was followed by a five minute parachute ride down to the ground.

Blaschke isn’t the only daredevil in his age group -- he’s in good company with Kathryn “Kitty” Hodges.

In August 2019, the Seattle woman celebrated her 103 birthday by setting a Guinness World Record for being the oldest female tandem skydiver.

She jumped out of a plane 10,000 feet over Snohomish County along with her son, Warren Hodges, and other family members, per UPI.

"It's fun, so why not have some fun? Hallelujah!" Hodges told KING-TV.

Skydive Spaceland, the skydiving center Blaschke utilized, is known for making dreams come true.

Earlier this year, instructors helped Memo celebrate her 90th birthday by jumping out of an airplane alongside her son, Dave.

“Memo is just proof that you're only as old as you feel and that no matter what age you are, the sky is the limit. ✈️,” the video documenting her experience noted.

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