Daredevil centenarian celebrates 100th birthday skydiving
If spending a century on Earth is not enough of an adventure, Stu Williamson found perhaps an even more exciting way to mark his 100th birthday Saturday — the Seattle resident jumped out of an airplane.
“Look at it this way — I’m close to ending my life anyway, so if something goes wrong and my parachute doesn’t open, why, what the hey — I still had a good life,” he laughed while speaking to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
The hair-raising experience was not a first for the fearless Williamson, who also celebrated his 99th birthday by skydiving with Skydive Snohomish.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I’ve done it twice,” Williamson joked.
Last time, however, Williamson was a tad sneakier and did not tell his family until the night before he parachuted.
“I didn’t do because I’m trying to attract attention to myself,” he explained. “I just did it so I could have the satisfaction of having done it.”
Williamson, a lifelong excitement-seeker, said that he has “always enjoyed things like roller coasters” because he loves “the thrill of the adrenaline.”
Skydiving is nothing if not adrenaline-inducing; Williamson described the freefall portion of the dive — during which he fell at 150 miles per hour — as “just like being in a hurricane.”
Despite the scariness, however, Williamson does not intend for his 100th birthday to be his last skydive. On the contrary, he has his sights set on higher goals. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest person to ever skydive was 102 years and a month old.
“If I can live and keep healthy for another two years and two months, I may wind up in the Guinness Book of Records,” Williamson said.