Most people believe that paragliding is a sport for young people only. That’s as may be, but 106-year-old Yu Te-hsin from Taichung has always wanted to experience the feeling of soaring through the sky. On May 14, Yu’s family took him to Tiger Head Mountain in Nantou County’s Puli Township for the ride of his life. After receiving professional instruction, he completed a successful takeoff and landing and broke the record in Taiwan for the oldest person to attempt the feat.
A retired teacher, Yu takes his health and fitness seriously and, despite his advancing years, remains in rude health. He still loves to try new things, and told his family he would like to have a go at paragliding. They were gobsmacked at the time, and tried to persuade him to drop the idea, but he had no intention of doing so. His granddaughters arranged everything and took him to a paragliding school at Puli’s Tiger Head Mountain so their grandfather could fulfill his dream.
Yu strapped on safety equipment and, with everyone running alongside, caught the wind and soared into the air with his instructor. Using the air currents, the two spiraled through the sky while Yu filmed it all, using a selfie stick. While filming some golden memories, he had plenty of time to take in the scenery before the two safely landed to a round of hearty applause from everyone on the ground.
Photo courtesy of Yu Te-hsin 照片：尤德馨提供
After landing, an ecstatic Yu said although it was a dream of his to go paragliding, on arrival he didn’t in the least bit apprehensive and just focused on the flying. He added that the birds-eye view was spectacular and the experience had left him with wonderful memories that he will cherish for ever.
Yu’s instructor says when Yu’s granddaughters first got in touch and enquired whether their 106-year-old could go for a lesson, he was initially worried Yu’s body might not being to handle the stress. However, following a medical check-up Yu was given the all-clear. After completing his paragliding experience, Yu became the oldest person in Taiwan to paraglide, a record previously held by a 93-year-old.
(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
Photo courtesy of Yu Te-hsin 照片：尤德馨提供
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