Nearly 140 skydivers set a new vertical skydiving record this weekend when they formed a giant snowflake over Ottawa, Illinois.
The Associated Press notes that it took 15 attempts and three days for the 138 skydivers to successfully assemble into the record-breaking formation. The previous record involved 108 skydivers and was set in 2009.
Rook Nelson, the owner of Skydive Chicago said:
“It was amazing. There was a lot of emotion and a lot of days where we should have got it. But we dug down deep and stuck at it.”
The 138 skydivers jumped out of six planes at about 18,5000 feet. The high-altitude gave the skydivers enough time to get into formation but it also added extra challenges. The skydivers and pilots had to bring oxygen tanks onboard the planes in order to deal with altitude sickness.
The organizers held tryouts during a 10-day skydiving festival. After each failed attempt, they reviewed videos to see who should be dropped for the team in favor of one of the other skydivers eager to set the world record. Skydivers from all over the world traveled to Chicago to take part in the record breaking attempt. The 138 skydivers who were able to set the vertical skydiving record came from Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Ukraine, and the U.K.
Here’s the video of the new vertical skydiving record.