Mark Sutton, the adventure-loving Englishman who parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics as James Bond, died Tuesday after crashing during a wingsuit jump in the Swiss Alps.
Wearing a wing-diving suit, Sutton, 42, of Surrey, England, was killed when he hit a mountain ridge after jumping out of a helicopter. Right before he jumped, Sutton sent a text message, “First trip here to fly and loving it,” The Daily Mail reported
Sutton was killed immediately, and the Daily Mail said he had to be identified by DNA after crashing into the mountain at approximately 124 mph.
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A wingsuit is specially designed apparel for jumpers that allows them to glide for longer periods of time before opening their parachutes.
The Guardian reported that Sutton was in the Swiss Alps for a three-day jumping event
and said Trey Cook, editor-in-chief of Epic TV, which organized the event, said Sutton was among 20 of the world’s best wingsuit pilots invited to participate.
The event’s organizers let the pilots determine whether to continue the event, and they decided to do so as a tribute to Sutton, the Guardian said. Sutton’s death occurred on the first day.
Sutton and good friend Gary Connery parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics, with Sutton dressed as James Bond and Connery as the queen. The film and skydive showing the Queen interacting with Daniel Craig as James Bond were considered by many to be one of the highlights of the games, said The Telegraph
Connery and Sutton were good friends, and in the Guardian article, Connery was quoted, “In any sport where you share a common bond you can make friends in a heartbeat that last a lifetime. My relationship with Mark was like that.”
Connery described his friend as “smart, articulate, and funny,” the Guardian said.
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