Woman skydives to celebrate 82nd birthday

Sitting at the dinner table with her family, Audrey Unger decided that she wanted to put skydiving on her bucket list. Two of her sons had done it, and she was turning 82 on June 6.

Mercer Island resident Audrey Unger

Mercer Island resident Audrey Unger

Sitting at the dinner table with her family, Audrey Unger decided that she wanted to put skydiving on her bucket list. Two of her sons had done it, and she was turning 82 on June 6.

After getting her doctor’s OK, Unger took the tandem leap from 13,500 feet above Harvey Field in Snohomish County on June 10. She jumped with tandem instructor Adrian Bowles. They had to wait until the clouds disappeared, later in the day. The total cost, including photography, was more than $300.

“Once I landed, it was exhilarating,” Unger said. “But, you know what? I wouldn’t do it again.”

At the beginning, it was a free fall. Then, the chute opened, and the pair drifted down.

“I could see Mercer Island. That was what I was looking for,” Unger said.

The grandmother of four offers two pieces of advice for aspiring skydivers: “You’ve got to be optimistic, and you’ve got to believe in God.”

“Jumping isn’t for the weak-minded,” she added.

While she didn’t pray when she jumped, she said that she knew God was looking after her. “And that’s being optimistic,” she said.

“My kids say, ‘Mom, do you want to do it again?’ And I say, not right now,” said Unger, who doesn’t know what her next adventure will be. She has thought about scuba diving with a friend, having been a lifelong swimmer, but she isn’t ready for that yet; it would be claustrophobic.

In the meantime, Unger is taking daily walks to keep in shape — one mile every morning, and one mile every evening.


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