Maria Koltakova is known in her homeland of Russia as the “Iron Grandmother”.
Her steely demeanor and unshakable courage has led her on a number of adventures over the years. She’s been hang gliding, scuba diving, go-karting, and even flew in a hot air balloon.
But her biggest claim to adrenaline-seeking fame came in 2015, when she performed her first skydive jump at the age of 93.
Her death-defying jumps continued, with her most recent in 2017.
“Last time I jumped on September 13th in 2017 in Crimea, on the Klementiev Mountain. It is 4,200 meters [high].”
Koltakova’s first skydive was dedicated to her brother Evgeny, who died in World War II fighting the Japanese in Russia.
Koltakova is also a World War II veteran. She served as a medic, and participated in a number of key moments during the war, including the Battle of Kursk and the operation that liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp.
She earned 46 awards for her service, including the Order of Glory and the Medal For Courage, which she received after carrying 27 injured soldiers from the battlefield.
After her time on the front lines, a trip to an indoor skydiving facility may seem like small potatoes. But it’s an experience that Koltakova celebrates.
This trip was her first time in a vertical wind tunnel, at the age of 95. And she hadn’t even heard of the simulator before trying it out.
“I have better impressions rather than you. I have done this flight for the first time. I did not know what this air tube is, but today it has been shown to me. And I liked it very much. I have even asked [to fly] for the second time and to fly even higher. It was amazing.”
Now that she’s had the experience, Koltakova wants to push it to the limit. Her goal is to set the record by surpassing nine trips in the simulator.
You might be wondering what’s next for the “Iron Grandmother”. Well, in addition to breaking the record, she says that going to space isn’t out of the question.
Truly, no death-defying feat is too adventurous for the Iron Grandmother.