High life of 'God of the Skies'
LONDON, England -- Self-styled "God of the Skies" Felix Baumgartner -- who flew unaided across the English Channel Thursday -- has set world records for the highest and lowest parachute dives with daredevil jumps from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. (Channel flight)
Baumgartner, 34, started parachuting as a teenager in Austria before taking up the extreme sport of BASE jumping. BASE jumpers must parachute from Buildings, Antenna, Spans (Bridges) and the Earth (cliffs) before they can join the club.
• Felix Baumgartner was the first man to jump from the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the world's tallest building.
• He has leapt from the 98-ft statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro, the world's lowest base jump.
• Baumgartner fired a cable from a crossbow over the right arm of the statue and climbed up to the outstretched hand.
• In July 1999, the daredevil was sponsored to leap from the 137-meter Pirelli skyscraper in the center of Milan.
• Baumgartner, in 2002, jumped the 275-meter Meteora cliff in Greece, next to the Agia Triada monastery, made famous by the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
• "Fearless Felix" also made it to the top of a 1,000 feet-plus mountain on Baffin Island in Canada -- only to base-jump off it.
• Baumgartner has made more than 2,600 parachute jumps and 130 base jumps.
• He gives as his short cv: "Military sports school in 1991 after training mechanics (motorcycles); started skydiving in 1986; professional since 1997."
• Baumgartner's hobbies are given as boxing, motocross, climbing.
• He lists his philosophy of life as: "Happy those people who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to see them come true."
• It was New Zealander AJ Hackett who sparked a worldwide boom in bungee jumping, and jumping off buildings generally, when he bungeed off the Eiffel Tower in 1987. Hackett had been inspired by the bungee exploits of the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club.
• Frenchman Alain Robert, nicknamed Spiderman, is renowned for scaling, rather than jumping, city skyscrapers without the aid of ropes or safety equipment.
• He has completed 30 structures around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building in New York and the Petronas Towers.