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Thursday
Jan052017

Texas Man Celebrates 100th Birthday by Skydiving for 1st Time Ever

efesan/iStock/Thinkstock(SALEDO, Texas) -- Meet Al Blaschke, a Texas man who turned 100 years old on Wednesday and marked the occasion with the leap of a lifetime: a skydive from 10,000 feet in the air.

Prior to Wednesday afternoon, Blaschke had never skydived in his life, according to Wendy Faulkner, an instructor at Skydive Temple in Saledo, Texas. Faulkner was one of numerous staff members who helped organize Blaschke's 100th birthday skydive.

"Three years ago, a friend had brought up the idea of skydiving, but he told them that he wanted to wait till he was 100," Faulkner told ABC News Thursday.

Following up on the plan, Blaschke and his friend, 72-year-old Betty Schleder, visited the skydiving center late last year, Faulkner said.

"He came in and we saw that, amazingly, he was in great shape for a 100-year-old," she said. "He still golfs every day and even does yoga, so we agreed to take him up."

On Wednesday afternoon, Blaschke and Shchleder were flown up to 10,000 feet, Faulkner said. She added that Blashcke's friends and family "from all over the country" came to witness his jump.

Blaschke and Schleder both did a tandem skydive, meaning they were attached to an experienced skydiving instructor, according to Faulkner.

The two went free-falling "between 30 to 40 seconds" before taking a five-minute parachute ride down, Faulkner said.

"It was really exciting for us," she said. "He's a great guy, really fun."

Even though Blaschke said he thoroughly enjoyed the thrilling descent, he wished it could have lasted even longer, he told ABC affiliate KVUE in Austin, Texas.

"It was too short," he said. "I saw more than I thought I would with my eyes."

The 100-year-old added that the experience was incomparable to anything he'd done in his lifetime.

Blaschke has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. He said the next item he wants to cross off his bucket list is going to see the Northern Lights with his nephew.

"I just wish everybody could have as an enjoyable life as I've had," he told KVUE.



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