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Former President George H.W. Bush skydives on 85th birthday

June 12, 2009 |  1:24 pm

Former President George H.W. Bush rides tandem with Army Sgt. Michael Elliott of the Army Golden Knights parachute team as he celebrates his 85th birthday today with a parachute jump. Fans of skydiving will argue that it's a dying sport only if your parachute does not open.

Whatever its popularity these days, it's a thrilling form of outdoor recreation and former President Bush (George H.W.) can attest to this -- again -- after jumping from a plane today to commemorate his 85th birthday.

Bush, who also parachuted on his 75th and 80th birthdays, negotiated a tandem jump from 10,500 feet with Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott of the Army's Golden Knights.

At least Bush was in good hands. He said to the Associated Press of his adventure over Maine, during which he plummeted to earth at 100 mph:

"Just because you're an old guy, you don't have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life."

It's a commendable attitude and accomplishment, to be sure. Bush said he had such a good time that he planned to do it again when he turns 90.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Former President George H.W. Bush rides tandem with Army Sgt. Michael Elliott of the Army Golden Knights parachute team as he celebrates his 85th birthday today with a parachute jump. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press
 

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