Aussie teen supercuber and very elderly US skydiver make history
What does a Brisbane teen’s wild Rubik’s cube feat have in common with a 104-year-old American woman jumping from a plane? Each set a new world record – WATCH THE VIDEOS
READING LEVEL: GREEN
New world records have been set by the blindfolded and the brave, as an Aussie teen and American centenarian* each made a bid for the history books.
Brisbane speedcuber* Charlie Eggins became the fastest in the world to solve a Rubik’s cube while blindfolded, breaking the world record for the 3x3 blindfolded single solve at 12.10 seconds at the National Speedcubing Championships at Moreton Bay in Queensland.
The 14-year-old said it took mental effort.
“I was really excited and had been doing a lot of practice but I was also quite nervous, especially in the finals,” he said.
“I really enjoy improving and learning and being my absolute best.”
Another worthy winner was Toby Seufert, 13, who took out the non-blindfolded division.
“I was definitely nervous during the competition but I managed to control it and do pretty well,” he said.
Toby had the best time of 5.71 seconds for his solve and said he enjoyed finding things to improve on.
“I love always trying to be my absolute best,” he said.
Toby said he would be attending the European speedcubing championships in Spain in 2024.
WATCH THE VIDEO
And from cubes to ‘chutes*, 104-year-old Chicago woman Dorothy Hoffner hopes to be certified* as the oldest person to ever skydive, leaving her walker on the ground for a tandem* jump.
“Age is just a number,” Ms Hoffner told a cheering crowd moments after touching the ground last Sunday at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, about 140km southwest of Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The Guinness World Record for oldest skydiver was set in May 2022 by 103-year-old Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson from Sweden. But Skydive Chicago is working to have Guinness World Records certify Ms Hoffner’s jump as a record, WLS-TV reported.
Ms Hoffner first skydived when she was 100. Last Sunday, she left her walker behind just short of the plane and was helped up the steps.
“Let’s go, let’s go, Geronimo!” Ms Hoffner said after she was finally seated inside the plane.
When she first skydived, she said she had to be pushed out of the aircraft. This time, tethered* to a US Parachute Association-certified instructor, Ms Hoffner insisted on leading the jump from 4100m.
She looked calm and confident when the plane’s aft* door opened shortly before she shuffled toward the edge and leapt into the air. Tumbling out of the plane head first, Ms Hoffner completed a perfect forward roll in the sky, before flying stable in free fall with her belly facing the ground.
WATCH THE VIDEO
The dive lasted seven minutes, including her parachute’s slow descent* to the ground.
Friends rushed in to share congratulations, while someone brought over Ms Hoffner’s red walker. She rose quickly and was asked how it felt to be back on the ground.
“Wonderful,” Ms Hoffner said. “But it was wonderful up there. The whole thing was delightful, wonderful, couldn’t have been better.”
After her jump, Ms Hoffner’s mind quickly turned to the future and other challenges. The lifelong Chicago resident, who’s set to turn 105 in December, said she might take a ride in a hot-air balloon next.
“I’ve never been in one of those,” she said.
- centenarian: a person who is aged 100 or more
- speedcuber: someone who solves Rubik’s cube puzzles very quickly
- ‘chute: abbreviated slang for parachute, the fabric and harness device that allows people to fall safely from the air and land back on the ground
- certified: confirmed, guaranteed, reliably and officially endorsed
- tandem: involving two people, in this case in formation one behind the other
- tethered: fastened together, closely connected
- aft: in or towards the back part of a boat or plane
- descent: the act of coming down
- Which world record did Charlie Eggins break and at what competition?
- Which division did Toby Seufert win and in what time?
- From what height did Ms Hoffner jump?
- At what age did Ms Hoffner first skydive?
- Who set the last Guinness World Record for the oldest skydiver and at what age?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Write a story
Use this sentence to start a story:
“Everyone thought I was crazy, that it couldn’t be done by an ordinary kid, but I knew that I could break the world record for …”
Time: allow at least 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
Who is the most inspiring record breaker in the story? Write a list of the reasons why you chose that person and the qualities that make them inspiring.
Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability
Imagine you were there during the event being discussed in the article, or for the interview.
Create a conversation between two characters from the article – you may need or want to include yourself as one of the characters. Don’t forget to try to use facts and details from the article to help make your dialogue as realistic as possible.
Go through your writing and highlight any punctuation you have used in green. Make sure you carefully check the punctuation used for the dialogue and ensure you have opened and closed the speaking in the correct places.