Irene breaks age sky­div­ing record

NT News - - NEWS - LIZ WALSH

SHE held on tightly to her trusty walk­ing stick as she walked to­ward the plane, but threw it away be­fore board­ing: she wouldn’t be need­ing it while freefalling at 220km/hr through the clear blue sky.

Not yes­ter­day’s swirling coastal wind, not the hip re­place­ment from a year ago, nor her cen­te­nar­ian age could pre­vent Ade­laide’s 101-yearold, Irene O’Shea, from be­com­ing the world’s old­est fe­male sky­diver.

And she wasn’t even ner­vous. In­stead, she smiled and waved at her 50-peo­ple-strong sup­port crew of fam­ily and friends — in­clud­ing most of her five grand­chil­dren and 11 great grand­chil­dren — as she boarded a Cessna 206 on route to 14,000ft and one giant leap into the record books.

Mrs O’Shea said af­ter land­ing: “It was just ter­rific, but I’m glad my feet are planted firmly back on the ground.”

Yes­ter­day’s jump was done purely in the name of char­ity, rais­ing money for Mo­tor Neu­rone Disease.

“I am do­ing this to raise money for MND — that’s the main thing, not for per­sonal gain,” she said.

Pic­ture: BRYCE SELLICK/SA SKY­DIV­ING

101-year-old Irene O'Shea takes a leap of faith yes­ter­day

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