He has been rushed to the hospital several times this year, and he moves about using a wheelchair. But his frail condition did not stop George H. W. Bush from trying one more time a favorite sport of his fitter years.
To mark his 90th birth anniversary on Thursday, the 41st president of the United States jumped from a helicopter at 6,000 feet to the wild cheers of family and friends near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, the Boston Globe reported.
He made a safe, though a bit hard, landing at the St. Ann’s Episcopal Church.
Aiding the former US leader in a tandem jump was Mike Elliott, a retired member of the Golden Knights, the Army’s parachute team, who has made more than 10,000 jumps.
It was Bush’s eighth jump. The first time was when he leaped out of his plane after it was shot down over the Pacific during World War II, family spokesman Jim McGrath was quoted as saying.
Bush enoyed the adrenaline rush. ‘‘It’s a wonderful day in Maine — in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump,” he tweeted.
Family members had kept it a secret until the morning of the jump — probably to allow the former president to change his mind.
But Bush did not back out, and he went back home afterwards for a more traditional way of celebrating the occasion — by blowing a well-lighted birthday cake.
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