The loss of wingsuit athlete Jhonathan Florez, affectionately known as the birdman in the freefall community, has touched the hearts of many around the world.
Among 32-year-old Florez’s accomplishments were over 4,000 skydives and BASE jumps, and four different world records, including the longest distance wingsuit flight (26km), longest wingsuit flight (in duration – 9m 06s), and the highest altitude wingsuit jump (11,358m), all simultaneously during a jump in 2012.
He was one of only a few world-class freefall athletes to hail from Latin America. When not performing himself, he was often working behind the scenes of Hollywood movies, as both a stuntman and aerial camera operator.
Athlete Cedric Dumont expressed his sadness. "I still can't believe it," he says. "So happy we shared these memories and adventures together."
Condolences also came in from Florez's colleagues in Hollywood – he'd recently just finished filming for the upcoming remake of Point Break, one of the most widely-recognised action sports movies of all time.
The freefall community feels his loss greatly. Fellow athlete Jokke Sommer shared his thoughts on Florez. “I’ll never forget you – flying won’t be the same now that you’re gone. I’m so happy I got to be part of your life, and watched you succeed making your biggest dreams come true,” he says. “You inspired all of us with your unique way of being, life-loving personality, and positivity. We’ll deeply miss your spirit in the sky.”