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11th Oct 2023

104-year-old woman dies days after record-setting skydive

Steve Hopkins

‘Age is just a number’

The 104-year-old woman who made headlines around the world for setting the record for the oldest tandem skydive has passed away just days after her inspiring jump.

Dorothy Hoffner, who announced “age is just a number” after touching down on October 1, died in her sleep, TMZ reported. It is not believed to have been related to her jump.

Dorothy, who made the jump with Skydive Chicago, is yet to have her record confirmed by Guinness, but the previous record holder is a 103-year-old Swedish woman, Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson, who jumped in 2022.

Skydive Chicago released a statement on Dorothy’s passing and used it to highlight the importance of doing the things we always dream of.

“We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing, and feel honored to have been part of making her world record skydive a reality,” the company said.

“Skydiving is an activity that many of us safely tuck away in our bucket lists. But Dorothy reminds us that it’s never too late to take the thrill of a lifetime.”

After completing the jump – having leapt out of a plane at 13,500 feet in northern Illinois, Dorothy was already eyeing-up her next challenge ahead of her 105th birthday in December, a hot-air balloon ride.

Dorothy did her first skydive four years ago after she clocked 100 years, saying the challenge “sounded interesting.”

Of her latest leap, she said: “The whole thing was delightful, wonderful, couldn’t have been better.”

The jump was originally scheduled for early September but was delayed three times due to bad weather.

Dorothy, who left her walked near the plane and was helped up the steps by instructors, reportedly said, “Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo!” after boarding.

The dive lasted seven minutes.

Skydive Chicago is working to have Guinness World Records certify Dorothy’s jump as a record, WLS-TV reported, but she didn’t seem too fussed about it.

When asked what it felt like to hold the age-based record, she quipped: “Like I’m old.”

Dorothy, who has never married or had children as an “unclaimed treasure”, encouraged everyone to try skydiving because it’s “surprisingly affordable and so peaceful.”

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