Nov 18, 2022 - Sports

100 female skydivers will attempt world record jump in Arizona

Dozens of skydivers  linking arms while upside down.

A practice jump in November 2021 for next week's world record attempt. Photo: Courtesy of Casey Swizzle 

Starting Sunday, 100 female skydivers will attempt to break a world record by jumping in tandem over the Arizona desert.

State of play: Professional skydivers Sara Curtis and Amy Chmelecki, who both live in Eloy, a small town outside of Tucson, have been organizing world record jumps for a decade. But this is their most ambitious attempt.

  • Curtis recently did stunt work for Marvel's "Black Widow" and Chmelecki is the sole woman on Red Bull's air team.

Why it matters: The women initially planned to do this jump in 2020 to recognize the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote, but the pandemic happened.

  • They tell Axios Phoenix they've expanded their cause now, hoping to raise awareness for the continued battle for women's rights, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.

What's happening: About 120 women (including alternates) from 22 countries have signed up to participate in the world record jump and will gather in Eloy this weekend.

  • They will board five aircraft, jump in a head-down sequence and attempt to simultaneously link arms while free-falling at 160mph.
  • The divers have to connect within 80 seconds of free fall, with no errors, to count for record purposes.
  • Curtis and Chmelecki said the goal is to get to 100 linked divers, but they'll settle for breaking the record of 65 they organized in 2016 if necessary.
  • The first attempt will take place Sunday, with plans to keep trying throughout next week.

Of note: Only 14% of skydivers in the U.S. are women.

  • "It's not that women are told that they can't skydive, it's just not something at the forefront of a little girl's mind," Chmelecki said.

The bottom line: The organizers tell us they hope the historic jump inspires women "to live bold brave lives of their own design."

How to watch: People are welcome to cheer on the team throughout the week at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.

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