On January 9, an elite team of former special operators embarked on a 168-hour skydiving journey that would take them across the globe and into the record books. The Triple 7 team set out to complete seven skydives on seven continents in seven days, a feat many said was impossible. A day after their final skydive into Perth, Australia, the team is learning to accept that they’ll never know the feeling of landing in the drop zone on that seventh day. Not because they failed but because they finished in six days, six hours, and six minutes.
To put this achievement in perspective, less than a million people have stepped foot on all seven continents. Fewer have been skydiving on all seven, and only these nine men have done both in less than a week. The expedition began in Antarctica when the team completed their first jump into Union Glacier Camp. They then traveled to South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, completing daring jumps in Santiago, Miami, Barcelona, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Perth.
The journey was not without its challenges, both physical and mental. The demanding pace of the expedition, coupled with sleep deprivation, tested the team’s mettle. However, their determination and unwavering spirit propelled them forward. The jumpers have all served in elite military units and possess the skills to handle high-stress situations and push through even the toughest challenges.
Special operators must possess the focus to minimize risk, the discipline to execute missions according to plan, and the expertise to adjust when the unexpected occurs. Furthermore, being part of such a tight-knit community taught them the power of shared purpose, teamwork, and committing to something greater than themselves. These skills also prove essential in skydiving, a sport that requires focus, expertise, and a strong sense of trust and communication.
The expedition also required a significant amount of planning and coordination. The team worked closely with local authorities, airport officials, and ground support staff to ensure each jump was safe and efficient. Despite the planning and preparation, the expedition faced an obstacle in Miami when the FAA grounded all domestic departures due to a major systems outage. However, the team’s incredible network helped the logistics crew keep everything on schedule.
It wasn’t about the records
Although they broke three world records, the team’s primary goal was not to make history. Instead, it was to honor the brave men and women who sacrificed everything in service to their nation. The team’s final jump honored Marine Scout Sniper Sergeant Matthew Thomas Abbate, who lost his life in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. A Marine who served alongside him said, “Some guys have the heart, but they don’t have the ability. [Others] have the ability but not the heart. [Sgt. Abbate] was the whole package, and he was humble about it.”
The expedition is complete, but the team’s mission to support Folds of Honor continues. Help this incredible nonprofit provide scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen military and first responders by donating online or texting Triple7 to 76278.
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