Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson (Sweden) had a dream: to become the world’s oldest parachutist.
At the age of 103 years 259 days, she embarked on an amazing freefall and broke the record for the oldest tandem parachute jump (female).
She completed her jump together with parachute expert Joackim Johansson in Motala, Sweden, on 29 May 2022.
Her family were incredibly supportive of her, and they were waiting on the ground as their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother made history.
The attempt took place on a sunny day and many local media outlets were present during the event to document Rut’s incredible attempt.
During the jump, Rut wanted to listen to Lasse Dahlquist’s song “Try Your Wings”.
“It’s nice that it’s starting to get warmer outside,” Rut declared to her granddaughter Per before the attempt, praising the sunny spring day and the cloudless sky: the perfect weather to enjoy a parachute jump.
“You get new strength when summer comes. It will be exciting, of course, and I have no regrets!”
“My daughter Ulla has bought me a pair of nice sneakers to use during the attempt.”
Rut’s passion for the sky came later in life, as she discovered parachuting and skydiving right before she turned 90.
On her 90th birthday, she tried paragliding for the first time.
Since then the Swedish record holder has tried all kinds of adventures in the sky: ballooning, paragliding and parachuting – you name it, Rut has probably done it!
Her first experience with parachuting was in 2020, when Rut was 102 years old.
Back then, Rut set a goal for herself: whilst enjoying the adrenaline of “taking a walk” among the clouds, she also wanted to be the oldest woman in the world to perform a parachute jump.
Now, two years later, she’s broken the record for the oldest tandem parachute jump (female) and her attempt has already become iconic.
Rut Larsson was born in 1918 and has lived a life full of incredible experiences.
She never backs down from a challenge, pursuing her dreams with a positive attitude her friends and family recognize and love.
Born right after the end of World War II, she grew up in the countryside outside Mjölby, where she still lives today with her family of 5 children, 19 grandchildren and about 30 great-grandchildren.
She never forgets a single birthday!
When she’s not spending time with her family or friends, solving crosswords puzzles or breaking records, Rut cultivates another passion: singing as part of the local choir.
In December 2021, she performed for her community at the celebrations for St. Lucia Day organized by Zenit, the meeting place for seniors in Mjölby.
Partaking in the four-century-old Swedish winter tradition, Rut wore a crown of candles and led the “Luciatåg” procession as Lucia (Saint Lucy) herself.
Her appearance marked Rut as one of the oldest Lucia’s to ever perform.
“There is something special in being the oldest one,” she said.
With her jump, Rut broke the previous oldest person to tandem parachute jump (female) record, held by Kathryn “Kitty” Hodges (USA).
Hodges was 103 years and 129 days old when she broke the record in 2019.
The new result put a halt to Rut’s attempts as she is two years younger than Hodges (who was born in 1916).
However, she didn’t forget her dream!
At the age of 103, Rut could finally try the adrenaline-filled jump again and, being 130 days older than Hodges at the time of her attempt, her epic stunt achieved the title.
(Source: Guinness World Records-2022)