The statement: “Age is only a number” has been proved by this 102-year-old great grandma and how! Irene O’Shea did what people mostly in their 20s, 30s, and 40s do, she skydived from a plane!
If you are even somewhat familiar with skydiving, you’d know that it’s not for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of guts and skill to jump out of a high-flying plane into nothingness with only a chute. Of course, every time you skydive, the risk factor is always high.
Irene who displayed exemplary courage did this death-defying jump at this ripe old age from Langhorne Creek in South Australia and landed safely on the ground. Of course, she was assisted by a skydiving instructor. In the process, she broke the record for being the oldest woman to skydive and entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
However, it was not her first jump, she had jumped twice before at comparatively younger ages. Her first jump was in 2016 to celebrate her 100th birthday. She broke the record for the oldest woman skydiver in 2017 and rewrote it in 2018! Asked whether she was an adrenaline junkie, her modest reply was, “As far as I’m concerned, I’m the same as everyone else, just a normal person.”
This event would have gone unnoticed had it not been for the social media. The moment the video showing this daring act was uploaded, it instantly went viral and received unprecedented praise and appreciation. However, breaking the world record was not on Irene’s mind, she had more noble reasons.
She did this to raise money for the Motor Disease Association of South Australia. This is because she had lost her daughter to a motor neuron disease a few years ago. Says she, “I lost my daughter to that terrible disease 10 years ago and I miss her.” This dive helped her raise $12,000 and she hopes to raise $10,000 more in the coming months.
Irene has certainly set a benchmark of determination, motivation, and courage for senior citizens all around the world. Her positive outlook in life and daring is certainly laudable.