Fulfilling decades-old vow, 90-year-old Quebec man skydives
After a workplace accident, Laval Boulanger promised himself he'd jump from a plane if he lived to 90
In 1943, Laval Boulanger was an 18-year-old working at a shipbuilding company in Sorel-Tracy, Que., when he fell from a height of 15 metres.
He nearly died, but when he recovered, he made a promise with himself: If he lived to 90 years old, he would skydive.
"At that time, only soldiers had access to parachutes," he said in an interview with Radio-Canada.
That workplace fall was only the first of three narrow escapes for Boulanger. When he was 45, he was in a bad car accident, and at 72 he underwent surgery to treat prostate cancer.
But he never forgot about the vow he made as a young man. Now 90, he fulfilled the promise on Monday, when his five children watched as he suited up and jumped out of a plane in Trois-Rivières, Que., with the assistance of a tandem instructor.
Boulanger was asked what he would be thinking about while he hurtled toward the ground.
"Absolutely nothing," he said.
Once back on the ground, Boulanger seemed happy and relieved. After more than 70 years, he had fulfilled his promise.
"I'm free. My mind is free."
With files from Radio-Canada's Marie-Ève Trudel and Luc Lavigne