‘We’re birds now’: Saskatchewan skydiving seniors living life to the fullest | Globalnews.ca

Two friends in their 70s who live at a senior’s living complex in Prince Albert, Sask., jumped out of an airplane and dove 11,000 feet outside Saskatoon this past weekend.

Doreen Harder and Marie Panas glided in the air — an experience they both say they will never forget.

“It’s such a feeling of freedom,” said Panas. “At my age, I don’t get that much excitement anymore.”

For years, Harder has been asking her friends to go skydiving with her, but no one was brave enough to step up to the challenge.

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“They were too chicken I guess, they wouldn’t do it,” she said. “I was telling my friend Marie that, and she (said) ‘I will go with you’ so we got beamed up … it’s just total freedom from up there. You can see everything.

“I just felt like a bird, maybe an eagle.”

The two ladies were being called brave by their family and friends.

The women said falling thousands of feet from a plane into thin air did not frighten them, but the fear of losing something did cross their minds.

“One funny thing when we were going that showed our age, I said ‘if I lose my teeth, can we send out a search party for them?’ And they said ‘no’ unfortunately and that I should probably keep my mouth closed,’” said Panas. “But that’s easier said than done when you’re enjoying yourself.”

Albert Boucher, Skydive Saskatoon operator, said it was a definite treat when the two ladies showed up on Saturday for their skydive.

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“It’s inspirational to see,” he said. “It’s fun to watch them experience that first jump … you could tell that they’re pretty cool friends and they both bought shirts there. I think they’re the coolest old ladies out there at the old folks’ home right now. So, it was pretty fun to see.”

The thrill-seeking friends encourage others to not let their age be a factor in trying out something new and daring.

“Had I started this when I was young, I (would) have been addicted to jumping all the time,” laughed Panas. “I know how a bird feels. We’re birds now but I don’t eat worms.”

When asked if they would skydive again, they both said, “in a heartbeat.”

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