Iowan celebrates 85th birthday skydiving

AMES, Iowa (WOI) – An 85-year-old Iowan celebrated his birthday skydiving and fishing in Siberia. 

Wayne Rowley says he’s 85 going on about 40. He has a zest for life unlike most his age. He’s traveled all over the world and likes to push the boundaries. For his big 85th birthday, he jumped out of a plane!

“I’m not even thinking of slowing down,” said Rowley. 

Rowley has always lived an adventurous life. 

“I fish a lot, I’ve fished all over the world for that matter.”

The Iowan who lives in Ames just got back from a fly fishing expedition in Siberia. But before he left for his trip he did something most people his age would never dream of doing. He went skydiving for his 85th birthday, living up to a promise he had made to himself years ago.

“I was a little bit inspired by George Bush. I think on his 80th birthday he went skydiving and I was much younger at the time and I said you know if I’m going to make it to 85 I’m going to skydive.”

Wayne says the experience really lived up to his expectations, marking it down as one of the coolest things he’s ever done.

“Just stepped out of that plane like you would out of your car and free fell for a couple miles.”

Rowley is always looking for the next thrill, and that excitement has only grown over time. Even though a lot of people may doubt his ability at 85, he knows age is just a number. And hopes to inspire other people to live our their dreams no matter how old they are.

“People say to me how can you go at 85 to Siberia? 300 miles by helicopter from nowhere, no medicine no nothing. If I have a heart attack on the Enisei River fishing for rainbow, and fall in the water, fantastic. Beats the hell out of a nursing home.”

Rowley has a busy winter planned with lots of trips to look forward to. The next thing on his bucket list is to catch a billfish in Costa Rica.

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