News / Utah / 

101-year-old woman takes up paragliding


8 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

OGDEN -- An Ogden woman had just one high flying adventure in mind. For her new century, the 101-year-old Mary Hardison chose to go paragliding.

It was something Hardison had never done before; in fact, it is something most people don't have the guts to do. But Hardison has learned a thing or two in her 101 years, and that's to have the right attitude about trying new things in life.

At 101 years old, you'd think there isn't much Hardison hasn't tried, but after her 75-year-old son gave it a try, she realized it was something she wanted to do.

"I don't want my son to do anything I can't do, so I decided to go have fun like he did," Hardison said.

"My initial reaction was ‘No! You can't let her,'" said granddaughter Diane Swain. "Then I thought, ‘No, I know my grandma well enough to know that is she wants to do it, she's going to do it.'"

Hardison's children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren cheered her on as she strapped into her harness Thursday evening.

She walked off the edge of the hill and into the great beyond, letting the strong winds take her for a ride. And being hundreds of feet in the air was still not enough; she wanted to try some tricks.

"We're going to have some fun," she said.

Hardison and her instructor Kevin Hintze spun in the air as her family on the ground watched and cheered.

"She wanted me to go upside down -- do whatever I wanted," Hintze said. "She was hardcore."

After her tricks in the air, she came in for a gentle landing, with a birthday wish fulfilled, and now, a new love at 101 years old.

"I'm ready to go again," she said.

Cloud 9 was responsible for Hardison's ride, and they said she's the oldest customer they've ever had.

As for Hardison, she's not one for quiet birthdays. For her 90th birthday, she went to Disneyland and rode every single ride.

Email: sdallof@ksl.com

Photos

Sarah Dallof

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast