Britain versus America: Who has the oldest skydiver?Comments
A transatlantic tussle is underway pitting two centenarians against each other – each claiming to be the oldest person in the world to make a tandem skydive!
Officially, the record is held by British D-Day veteran Bryson Hayes, known as Verdun.
He made it into the Guinness Book of Records by taking the plunge in May, at the grand old age of 101 years and 38 days.
Verdun jumped out of a plane from a height of 15,000ft over Devon in southwest England, raising thousands of pounds for the Royal British Legion charity in the process.
Congratulations to Verdun Hayes, the world's oldest skydiver @AndreaOrmsby@BBCDevonpic.twitter.com/urwRFQ2TbA— BBC Georgey Tonight (@GeorgeyTonight) 15 mai 2017
On Monday, Verdun was presented with his world record certificate and treated to a surprise military guard of honour to recognise his achievement.
The great grandfather only took up skydiving to celebrate his 100th birthday. And he loves it!
“It was beautiful! I was not afraid,” he said.
“No fears, no nothing…you just dive out of the plane and just hope the parachute opens.”
A Gurkha Guard of Honour welcome for Verdun Hayes. The 101 yr old world record skydiver from Devon raising £3500 for @PoppyLegion#HeartNewspic.twitter.com/Qs7icUb9lL— Heart Cornwall News (@HeartCornNews) 31 juillet 2017
Verdun has been brought down to earth with a bump, however.
A 102-year-old American has just laid claim to his world record, having made a tandem jump of his own.
Kenneth Meyer from New Jersey made his big leap just last week and was quoted as saying in the local media: “I’m doing this for the USA”.
102-year-old N.J. daredevil becomes world's oldest skydiver https://t.co/O2whF7XnkC#skydive#Centurion#seniors#SeniorLiving#NewJerseypic.twitter.com/IkScwVyNQR— Robert Sciarrino (@SciarrinoRobert) 28 juillet 2017
But fear not, on the UK side of the Pond…
If his rival’s jump is officially recognised, plucky Brit Verdun is willing to take to the skies once more.
“I’d do it again tomorrow!” he said.
He may prefer to wait until he has celebrated his 103rd birthday!