In a remarkable feat of courage and zest for life, a 104-year-old woman from Chicago is vying for the title of the oldest person to ever skydive. Dorothy Hoffner, displaying an inspiring outlook, left her walker behind and embarked on a tandem jump at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, approximately 85 miles southwest of Chicago.
“Age is just a number,” Hoffner declared to an enthusiastic crowd upon safely landing on the ground, challenging conventional perceptions of aging, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. The current Guinness World Record for the oldest skydiver was established in May 2022 by 103-year-old Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson from Sweden. Skydive Chicago is actively working to secure certification from Guinness World Records for Hoffner’s jump, as reported by WLS-TV.
Hoffner’s skydiving adventures began at the age of 100, and on this occasion, she abandoned her walker just shy of the plane—a Skyvan. With assistance, she ascended the steps to join others awaiting the exhilarating plunge.
Seated inside the aircraft, Hoffner exuded enthusiasm, exclaiming, “Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo!” Undeterred by her age, she insisted on taking the lead in the jump from an impressive altitude of 13,500 feet (4,100 meters), tethered to a U.S. Parachute Association-certified instructor.
In contrast to her initial skydiving experience, where she required a gentle push out of the aircraft, Hoffner executed a perfect forward roll in the sky, displaying calmness and confidence. The entire dive, including the parachute descent, lasted seven minutes. Landing gracefully on the grassy area, Hoffner’s friends gathered to offer their congratulations, and her red walker was promptly brought over.
Asked about the experience, Hoffner, who is set to celebrate her 105th birthday in December, described it as “delightful” and “wonderful.” Looking ahead, she expressed interest in riding in a hot-air balloon, noting that she has never experienced such an adventure before. Hoffner’s indomitable spirit serves as an inspiration, proving that age is no barrier to embracing new challenges and finding joy in life’s adventures.