The Sky's the Limit: 103-Year-Old Woman Becomes the World's Oldest Parachutist

Markus Seifert

Do you have a bucket list? If so, pursue it while you can — our time above ground is short.

For the luckiest few, it measures 100 years; but Rut Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson knew she wouldn’t be fit for physical feats forever.


Therefore, the Swede went way above ground at an early age: She crossed off paragliding when she was only 90.

Rut’s marked off other goals as well, such as becoming a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

And her 90th-birthday stint in the stratosphere birthed more time tempting fate: At the egg-state age of 102, she parachuted for the first time. The endeavor gave her an adolescent dream: Break the world record.

Therefore, on May 29th, in Motala, Sweden, the spring chicken took to the air once more.

Harnessed to parachute expert Joackim Johansson, she mopped the floor with heights-fearing girlymen everywhere.

According to Guinness World Records, Rut became the oldest person to parachute out of a plane in tandem — at the age of 103 years and 259 days.

[It was] a sunny day, and many local media outlets were present during the event to document Rut’s incredible attempt.

The Queen of the Skies even took some tunes so she could jam out while she dropped:

During the jump, Rut wanted to listen to Lasse Dahlquist’s song “Try Your Wings.”

Marveling at their matron’s moxie, three generations of offspring awaited her triumphant return to Earth.

“It’s nice that it’s starting to get warmer outside,” Rut declared to her granddaughter Per before the attempt, praising the sunny spring day and the cloudless sky: the perfect weather to enjoy a parachute jump.

“You get new strength when summer comes. It will be exciting, of course, and I have no regrets! … My daughter Ulla has bought me a pair of nice sneakers to use during the attempt.”


When Rut isn’t flying high, she’s living it up in agreeance with gravity. The lady may soar like an eagle, but she also sings like a bird:

When she’s not spending time with her family or friends, solving crosswords puzzles or breaking records, Rut cultivates another passion: singing as part of the local choir.

In December 2021, she performed for her community at the celebrations for St. Lucia Day organized by Zenit, the meeting place for seniors in Mjölby.

Partaking in the four-century-old Swedish winter tradition, Rut wore a crown of candles and led the “Luciatåg” procession as Lucia (Saint Lucy) herself.

Her appearance marked Rut as one of the oldest Lucia’s to ever perform.

Good for Great Grandma, who’s also conquered ballooning.

At a time when the culture is so corrupted by online animous and people’s attention is inwardly turned, Rut’s story is a welcome reminder of what life is supposed to be: an arena for outward and optimistic living.

She’s done her share, and she’s not done yet:

Rut Larsson was born in 1918 and has lived a life full of incredible experiences.

She never backs down from a challenge, pursuing her dreams with a positive attitude her friends and family recognize and love.

Born right after the end of [World War I], she grew up in the countryside outside Mjölby, where she still lives today with her family of 5 children, 19 grandchildren and about 30 great-grandchildren.


Rut’s part of a generation of adventurers:

With her jump, Rut broke the previous oldest person to tandem parachute jump (female) record, held by Kathryn “Kitty” Hodges (USA).

Hodges was 103 years and 129 days old when she broke the record in 2019.

May we learn from their example, and reach for the stars. Or at least the clouds.



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