Monday, 27 September 2021

Stuntman is celebrity of skydiving world

IT was almost exactly a year ago that film stuntman Gary Connery became the first person to complete a 2,400ft

IT was almost exactly a year ago that film stuntman Gary Connery became the first person to complete a 2,400ft wingsuit jump without using a parachute.

Now he has received the Royal Aero Club’s Norton-Griffiths Challenge Trophy, which is given to aviators undertaking “outstanding feats of courage, tenacity and imagination unrelated to traditional sporting events”.

Gary, 43, of Station Road, Henley, was presented with the award at a ceremony in Piccadilly last month. He says: “To be nominated was great but to actually win it is awesome. I’m overwhelmed.”

Gary, who made news across the world with his jump, followed it by parachuting from a helicopter dressed as the Queen in front of an estimated one billion TV viewers at the opening ceremony for the London Olympics.

“My life has changed dramatically since then,” he says. “I show up at drop zones around the world now and everyone knows who I am. They want me to sign logbooks and have photos taken with them. In the small world of skydiving, I’m a celebrity and it’s a lovely feeling. I never get bored of telling the story of my wingsuit jump.”

Gary plans to top his feat — he is currently seeking permission to perform a wingsuit jump without a parachute from Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world at 2,723ft.

Meanwhile, he can seen in a new film, All Things To All Men, performing a stunt in which he flips a red car.

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