104-year-old Chicago woman jumps at chance to become oldest person to tandem skydive

A 104-year-old Chicago woman ditched her walker and climbed into a plane to become the world’s oldest person to tandem skydive — and it wasn’t even her first freefall.

Dorothy Hoffner first skydived four years ago on her 100th birthday, but she wanted a redo because, she said, she didn’t want to be pushed out of the plane, CNBC reported. She wanted to lead the jump.

On Sunday, she did just that. Hoffner tumbled out of a plane 13,500 feet in the air while strapped to an instructor from Skydive Chicago, NBC Chicago reported. White hair billowing in the wind, she parachuted down to a grass landing area in the countryside of Ottowa, Illinois.

“Age is just a number,” Hoffner told a cheering crowd shortly after she touched the ground, according to The Associated Press. After cheers and congratulations from friends and family, she was handed back her red walker.

Hoffner lives in an assisted living facility in Chicago. That’s where she got the idea for her extreme hobby.

Dorothy Hoffner, 104, falling through the air with tandem jumper Derek Baxter
Dorothy Hoffner, 104, falls through the air with tandem jumper Derek Baxter on Sunday at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Ill.Daniel Wilsey via AP

She told The New York Times that a friend of hers mentioned that he was going skydiving and that she told him, “I want to do that.”

“It’s fun, and it seemed so nice and peaceful, coming down with a parachute on top of you,” Hoffner said in an interview with CNBC. “You can see the whole countryside; it was so beautiful.”

Hoffner has submitted her application to Guinness World Records, which said it is awaiting evidence to review the record-breaking attempt. The review process typically takes 12 to 15 weeks.

The previous world record holder, 103-year-old Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, set the tandem parachute record last year in Sweden. Larsson was born the same year as Hoffner: 1918. The oldest person to solo parachute jump is Maria Yegella, who set the record last year in Florida when she was 84 years old.

Hoffner told the the AP the next adventure she has set her sights on is a hot-air balloon ride.

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