woman paraglider-world record set by Peggy McAlpine
1] KYRENIA, Cyprus--Peggy McAlpine marked her 100th birthday by
setting a new world record on Wednesday after paragliding from the
top of a mountain range in Cyprus.
Peggy McAlpine, who has seen the reign of five
British monarchs and 26 prime ministers, leapt from a 2,500-foot
(760 metre) peak in the Five Finger mountains in northern Cyprus
for a 15-minute tandem flight.
"It was the most wonderful, pleasant experience
and I'm ready to do it again anytime," said Peggy, who has four
grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
She had already bungee-jumped with members
of the Royal Parachute Regiment as an 80-year-old "youngster."
The former accountant, who has two daughters, four
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, said she felt no nerves
at her birthday stunt.
"I had a wonderful time and I would love to do
it again but I will give it a few years and let someone else have
a go at beating the record," she told the crowd of around 30 friends,
family and press who gathered to watch the bid. "If no-one else
wants a go, I'll do it again when I am 105," she told AFP.
The attempt was watched by her daughter Elizabeth
Forsyth, who was jailed in Britain in 1996 after being convicted
of money laundering after the collapse of Polly Peck, headed by
disgraced tycoon Asil Nadir.
Strapped into a black and red flight suit with
a white crash helmet, the pensioner from Stirling, Scotland, who
bungee-jumped from scaffolding aged 70, was serenaded as she came
into land by a bagpiper playing Scotland the Brave.
She was handed a glass of champagne on touch-down
just outside the village of Karaman by her cheering fans who toasted
her success in her bid to enter the record books by become the oldest
person to paraglide.
Nadir fled to Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus
in 1993, which has no extradition treaty with Britain, where he
is still wanted for theft of 34 million pounds (70 million dollars).