Skydiving at age 95

The oldest Icelander ever to go skydiving in Iceland enjoyed the experience yesterday when he jumped out of a plane above Hella, South Iceland. The daredevil in question is none other than former director of the Icelandic Met Office, 95-year-old Páll Bergþórsson.

He is 20 years older than the previous record holder, according to Morgunblaðið, which published his photo on its front page today, showing him on cloud nine with Hjörtur Blöndal from Skydive Iceland. Páll took the leap to celebrate his 95th birthday on August 13th. He reports he found this no more challenging than crossing a street. The adventure began with a free fall from an elevation of 3,000 m (9,843 ft) at a speed of 200 km/hour (124 mph).

“I had prepared for this mentally, so I wasn’t very surprised,” Páll tells mbl.is. “Taking the leap and reaching a speed of 200 km/hour without [the aid of] a parachute at first and not feeling your chest or anything is remarkable; very nice.”

Then, when the parachute pulled, you could begin looking around and feel the air around you, the air that you’ve been dealing with in a major way over the years.”

Páll has indeed dealt with air, wind, sunshine, rain and snow, forecasting all those in various amounts over the decades, and presenting his forecast to the public on TV in a calm, deep voice.

Bergþór, Páll’s son, reports that the interest in skydiving was kindled after he and his husband went skydiving recently. “Dad drove us. Then he decided it would be a great idea to go skydiving on August 13th, his 95th birthday. The weather wasn’t good that day, so it was postponed. But today, the weather was good.”

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