BUSH 41 TURNS 80, SKYDIVES TO CELEBRATE: George H.W., the first President Bush, decided to celebrate his 80th birthday by skydiving, making a 13,000 foot jump over his presidential library earlier today:
He made a tandem jump – harnessed to a member of an Army’s Golden Knights parachute team – after officials decided the wind conditions and low clouds made it too dangerous for the 41st president to jump alone, which he did when he turned 75.
“This was a real thrill for me,” said Bush, wearing a black-and-gold jumpsuit. “I felt no fear … for me to get a chance to jump with the Golden Knights is a dream.”
With Staff Sgt. Bryan Schnell on his back and a black-and-gold parachute ballooning above them, the former president waved his arms to some 4,000 spectators as he neared the drop zone – a painted logo of “41 at 80” in the center of a football-field-sized area on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University.
“It’s been a great day,” Bush said after sailing to the ground, landing and scooting a ways on his backside. “This was a day of joy and a day of wonder for the Bush family, certainly for the old guy.”
The crowd included his wife, Barbara, his son Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev – whom the former president had invited to jump with him.
“Afraid,” Gorbachev said through an interpreter, explaining why he didn’t accept the offer. “Maybe on his 90th birthday. … For me, it would be a first. At my age, that may kill me.”
Gorbachev gave Bush flowers and a bottle of vodka.
This wasn’t the first time Gorbachev felt afraid when confronted by a request from an American president…
UPDATE: For some reason, this article omits the fact that Chuck Norris and Brit Hume also jumped with President Bush. I had to learn about the latter via “Day By Day” (!) and then Google for another news story!