It is always possible to follow your aspirations. Or she was even setting new records. Dorothy Hoffner, a 104-year-old resident of Chicago, exemplifies this spirit. Recently, she accomplished a remarkable feat by becoming the oldest person to leap the skies in a tandem skydiving adventure. Her verdict on the experience? “Age is just a number.”
Hoffner embarked on this exhilarating journey in Northern Illinois, enlisting the assistance of Skydive Chicago in the town of Ottawa. This wasn’t her inaugural skydive, mind you. She first embraced this daring endeavor at the age of 100. Back then, an instructor lent a helping push, but this time, she insisted on leading the tandem jump, soaring from an impressive 13,500 feet.
A video shared by Skydive Chicago captures Hoffner’s determined stride toward the aircraft, guided by her trusty red walker before she boards with assistance. Surrounded by fellow skydivers, her face radiates pure joy as she eagerly anticipates her moment to take the plunge. When the aft door swings open, she fearlessly propels herself out, executing a graceful forward roll in the vast expanse of the sky. Clinging to her harness, she revels in the liberating sensation of free fall. After a few minutes, the instructor deploys the parachute, preparing for a gentle descent back to solid ground.
Before Hoffner’s incredible feat, the record for the oldest skydiver belonged to Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson of Sweden, who accomplished this feat at 103 in May 2022. Now, Skydive Chicago is lobbying for Guinness World Records to recognize Hoffner’s leap as the new standard officially.
As for Hoffner, she beams with contentment at having conquered this monumental challenge, labeling the experience as nothing short of extraordinary. “It was wonderful up there. The whole thing was delightful, wonderful, couldn’t have been better,” she gushes. With her 105th birthday on the horizon in December, Hoffner already has her sights set on her next escapade. She envisions celebrating this milestone by floating through the skies in a hot air balloon, musing, “I’ve never been in one of those.”