Photo: Jhonathan Florez
Colombia’s Jhonathan Florez, the current world champion skydiver, flew over Bogota’s iconic Cerro de Monserrate mountain at a speed of 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour and made a smooth landing, a feat he accomplished for the first time in his own country and that filled him with “pride.”
That was said in a statement made to Colombian media by Florez, known as the “birdman,” after diving in his wingsuit from a helicopter some 1,000 meters (3,275 feet) above the sanctuary on the summit of Monserrate, which stands some 3,125 meters (10,245 feet) above sea level.
Florez, who opened the parachute seconds before landing at the foot of Monserrate, said he was “very excited to show them this in Colombia.”
The extreme air athlete said he had never been a prophet in his own country, despite having taken first place in the skydiving tourney on Oct. 13 on Tianmen mountain in China’s Hunan province, and having flown in his wingsuit over Corcovado in Brazil, the Nazca lines in Peru, and the Great Wall of China.
The dive was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Thursday but he was unable to do it until five hours later, due to a dense fog that impeded the helicopter’s flight and his own leap into space.
Florez asked through this dive for state support for alternative sports like his, and said sharply that “not everything in the country has to be soccer.”