Former president George H.W. Bush skydived from a plane in Kennebunkport, Maine, today to celebrate his 90th birthday. This is be the eighth jump Bush has made in his 90 years. “I got one more in me,” he told granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager in an interview on MSNBC. The video above shows Bush during today’s jump.
Here’s what you need to know about the jump:
1. He Can’t Use His Legs
It's a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump.
— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) June 12, 2014
The Associated Press reports Bush made the jump even though he is no longer able to use his legs. Bush suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which has rendered him unable to walk on his own as the disease has progressed. Bush waited till the last minute to announce the jump, in part, so he could back out if necessary, according to the AP.
2. His First Jump Was During World War II
As a Navy pilot in World War II, Bush’s first jump out of an airplane came when his plane was shot down over the Pacific island of Chi Chi Chima during a bombing mission, according to CBS. That first jump was at roughly 1,500 feet.
3. Ceremonial Jumps Have Become a Tradition for Bush
The birthday and big milestone skydives have become a tradition for Bush. He jumped in 2007 to celebrate the reopening of his presidential library at Texas A&M. He’s jumped on his 75th, 80th, 85th and soon his 90th birthdays, which a spokesperson for the former president says is “vintage George Bush.” The AP reports:
It’s vintage George Bush. It’s that passion for life. It’s wanting to set a goal, wanting to achieve it. I’m sure part of it is sending a message to others that even in your retirement years you can still find challenges.
4. He Believes Growing Old Doesn’t Mean Slowing Down
Bush has gone on record saying growing old doesn’t mean slowing down. He told reporters back in 2009:
Just because you’re an old guy, you don’t have to sit around drooling in the corner.
His granddaughter and the Obama family have already wished him the best on his birthday.
5. He Says the Jumps Give Him an Adrenaline Rush
After his last jump in 2009, Bush said he loved the “exhilarating feeling” he got when he took the leap.
The former president has been battling bronchitis since November of this year.Click here to read more