October 23, 2004 by

Roland Simpson


Categories: Sports

Roland “Slim” Simpson, an Australian BASE jumper, died on Oct. 22 of injuries he sustained in a jump earlier this month. He was 34.
Simpson fractured his skull on Oct. 6 when he jumped from the 1,387-foot Jin Mao Tower in the financial district of Shanghai. He and 37 other BASE jumpers from 16 nations were invited by the Shanghai Sports Bureau to jump from the tower, which is China’s tallest skyscraper. Simpson was injured when the parachute lines on his wing suit became twisted. He landed on the roof of an adjacent building.
The president of the Australian BASE Association, Simpson was an experienced skydiver and BASE jumper who completed more than 1,200 jumps. Over the years, he participated in numerous BASE-jumping competitions and was appointed the technical director for the 2003-2004 World BASE Cup.
“In that first second or two when you actually, when you’re actually, when your body’s hanging in the air and you’re starting to drop and you look down and this enormous rock wall starts to race past and you’re accelerating down right next to it, that visual impression that’s this kaleidoscope of rock racing past you, is very difficult to explain. It’s an incredible feeling — really amazing,” Simpson said in an interview with The Sports Factor.
BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth, the fixed objects from which BASE jumpers launch themselves.

3 Responses to Roland Simpson

  1. Chris O'Neill

    I met Roland at Hornsby Toastmasters club in Sydney Australia where we met each fortnight to improve our public speaking skills. One night he made a speach describing some of his BASE jumping exploits. He admitted that his talk was poorly prepaired but it made such an impression on me that I remember it clearly to this day. “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” he said. He had such enthusiasiam and daring. He was thoughtful, careful, and warm. I would have liked to have been his friend but my life has little in the way of adventure and his was was full of it. So we probably would not have had that much in common. Our association only lasted a few months and he was gone. He was a human being who should have been here for a long time as well as a good time.

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