Jumping by Numbers

Originally broadcast on Emirates News 2 January, 2013

Skydive Dubai has only recently finished staging the World Parachuting Championships, but already, they’re back hosting another big event.

World record holding skydiver, Olav Zipser, completed his 21,000th jump today at Dubai Marina, and we were there.

Olav ZipserOlav Zipser is one of the world’s most experienced skydivers. He’s devoted a lifetime to parachuting, and between his first jump, in 1986, to now, he had leaped from a plane 20-thousand, 900 and 99 times. Until today.

“I’m doing my 21,000th flight, from the sky, here over Dubai and we’re going to be landing here in this landing area,” says Olav.

“I’m really happy to be here again in Dubai. My 20,000th jump I believe you covered, two years ago, it’s been two years since I’ve been here. Wow!”

Yes, we certainly did. It was back in November 2010, when we joined him last time, for number 20,000. He’s returned this time to a bigger, better Skydive Dubai for his next career milestone

Olav’s professional highlights are not only measured in numbers either.

He’s mastered just about every aspect of this discipline there is. He’s a qualified instructor, examiner, safety expert and awardwinning mid-air cameraman. He’s set up his own freeflying school and is actively involved in pushing the boundaries to their limits and beyond, with groundbreaking research on the potential for human flight.

So in a career that has seen him jump in beautiful locations all around the world, why is the UAE such a special place for Olav?

“I like the spirit here, of Dubai because it’s a growing city there’s a lot of people from all over the world,” he says.

“All the best spirits, the best flyers together and they get a chance here to develop new flying. And it’s a beautiful place with a backdrop of the Palm, the buildings of Dubai Marina. It’s a fantastic place to do this celebration flight.”

So 21,000 jumps, what now?

“More further faster, higher! Going into space, that’s the ticket. We will take freefly into space and that’s this is all jsut a stepping stone. One day we will have 40,000, 50,000”

The only question that remains now is whether Olav will join us for his 22,000th jump.  Noni Edwards, Emirates News.

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