86-year-old old woman is the oldest female trapeze artist in the world

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An 86-year-old trapeze artist has soared into the Guiness Book of World Records.

Betty Goedhart holds the title for the oldest-performing flying female trapeze artists. She said it is an honor to be recognized.

Goedhart started her trapeze lesson about 8 years ago after a friend gave her a gift certificate for her 78th birthday. Through years of practice, the California resident said she has overcome her fear of heights, and gained a new found pride in herself.

“For me, it’s another world,” she explained. “It is a world that I didn’t expect in my life, and feel very blessed.”

Her aerial ambitions began as a young girl growing up in Sugar Creek, Missouri.

“I saw these women flying in the circus, and I said, ‘Someday, I’m going to do that,’” Goedhart recalled.

Andrew Duncan, a trapeze catcher, said she practices more than he does.

“You know, every now and then an older person will come out, and, they’ll do it – maybe cross it off the bucket list, but they don’t normally come back,” he said, “but she comes four times a week. Every time I see her climb that ladder, I’m always more proud of her and the tricks she pulls off are better than mine."

Goedhart’s ambitious spirit gave her a professional ice skating career that spanned five decades. She traveled the world performing with the company, Holiday on Ice, where she also met her late husband. 

In 2004, she sold her business in England and moved back to the U.S. to retire.

"I don’t know how long I’m gonna be able to do this,” Goedhart said, “so I better enjoy today and get the most out of it.”

Age doesn’t mean much to her. Goedhart wants to encourage others to never let age hold anyone back from experiencing something new.

“Try it, try it,” she said. “You might be surprised, and then you’re very proud of yourself.”