Tuesday, August 2, 2011
'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky
"A quadriplegic skydiver died in a tragic weekend accident when his disability prevented him from manually deploying his parachute. His emergency chute was also not set to automatically release, said officials on Monday.
Zack Fogle, 27, plunged 18,000 feet to his death on Saturday when his parachute did not open during a jump at a skydiving festival in northwestern Montana. Fogle, who had completed more than 125 jumps in the past five years." (read more)
Several news stories covered the tragedy here and elsewhere. Ability News combines links to several articles.
Why is this getting so much coverage? Is it because he was handsome? Yes. A quadriplegic? Yes. The angle is easy when non-disabled writers feel the need to justify or even judge Fogle's adventurous daredevil life.
One column stands out on The Stir. From writer Jeanne Sager:
"It could be inferred by the massive amount of media attention to Fogle's story that his handicapped status somehow made this tragedy different. It's certainly an interesting bit of information. The journalist in me admits it couldn't have been left out. When I read Fogle was unable to reach his emergency cord in time, I'll admit curiosity made me wonder, 'Did his lack of mobility play a role here?'"
"Zach Fogle decided he wanted to be a skydiver. He made that choice. It's very sad that he died while doing it. But he didn't die because he's a quadriplegic. He died because he's a guy who wanted to try a risky sport."
It's not just sad that a man who defied limitations died doing what he loved, and knew how to do expertly. It's sad that most people with no disabilities suffer from not living their lives to the fullest.
Fogle's motto was "Live to the point of tears."