Skydivers persevere past tragedy, fall short of world record

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Skydivers persevere past tragedy, fall short of world record

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Dec 6, 2013

ELOY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - All week long skydivers from around the world have been trying to set a world record at Skydive Arizona.

An accident killed two of their own on Tuesday, but they continued to stay focused on their ultimate goal.  

"You really only have two options, you can quit or you can just kind of pursue and go forward with an affirmation of life," skydiver and University of Arizona graduate Bill Binder told 9 On Your Side.

The group of 200 skydivers from 26 countries attempted to break the record for the largest formation sequential dive, meaning they have to create two formations during the same jump. 
Another group of skydivers set the record at 110 two weeks ago in Florida, but this group aimed much higher by coordinating a jump with 176 men and women.  
"They have to show me the picture that was I was given before they went up and if they don't, it doesn't count," world record judge Judy Celaya said. 
High winds and clouds limited the number of attempts on Wednesday and Thursday, but there was clear skies on Friday for the group's final four flights.
For their final jump Friday, the group downsized to 164.  
"I always hate it when we come down to the last chance, the last jump," Celaya said. "But so many times they do and so many times they get it."
Around 4 p.m., they boarded the 9 planes for their 19th and final attempt of the week. 
At 21-thousand feet, the 8-person center base began its descent. Seconds later, the rest of the divers emerged from all sides.
A handful of divers were unable to grab on.     
"It wasn't successful," Binder said. "Couple people weren't able to make it into the first formation."
Disappointed, these determined divers from around the world say they'll come together again for future attempts.  
After the last jump, the group gathered for a moment of silence in honor of the two fallen skydivers.