The Adrenalist

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First Ever Tandem BASE Jump



While your dad was twisting his mustache and watching first runs of The A-Team, Ted Strong was out making history.

On Bridge Day 1984, he strapped himself to his buddy Robin Heid, and jumped from the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia.

It was the first tandem BASE jump ever attempted and it was an unequivocal success.

Not that the stunt was predestined to go smoothly. Back in the ’80s, a number of New River Gorge Bridge features, including a barrier at the edge, complicated the jump. (The bridge hadn’t yet been overhauled to accomodate 80,000 spectators at the annual event.)

And the plunge is infamously and inherently dangerous. Just a year before Strong and Heid made their historic jump, BASE jumper Michael Glenn Williams drowned in the current after getting tangled in his gear. Since then, a number of other jumpers have lost their lives on Bridge Day.

But Bridge Day plunges on. This year the event celebrates its 33rd anniversary on October 20, 2012, and you can be a part of it, even if you have no prior BASE jumping experience. Sign up here for a chance at one of 20 tandem BASE jumping slots scheduled for Bridge Day 2012.

What, you have something crazier to do that day?

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