85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School Betty Goedhart of Escondido will appear in the 2019 Guinness World Records as the oldest performing female trapeze artist. She set the record when she was 84 but her eye was on the sport much earlier.
NPR logo

85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/650341625/650341628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School

85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School

85-Year-Old Flies To New Heights At Calif. Trapeze School

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/650341625/650341628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Betty Goedhart of Escondido will appear in the 2019 Guinness World Records as the oldest performing female trapeze artist. She set the record when she was 84 but her eye was on the sport much earlier.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And on this Friday, we bring you the story of a woman clearly unafraid to try something new.

BETTY GOEDHART: I'm Betty Goedhart. I am 85 wonderful years old. I go to trapeze school here in Escondido four times a week.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yes, she said trapeze school. Betty Goedhart of Escondido, Calif., remembers going to the circus with her dad and marveling at the women on the trapeze.

GOEDHART: So I mentioned that on my 78th birthday party. And a friend of mine gave me a coupon to go to the Trapeze High school in Escondido to have a free lesson. And I loved it that minute and am just delighted to be where I am now.

MARTIN: So if you've ever seen people do this, it does look scary and harrowing. Betty says it's not that hard, though, once you get the hang of it.

GOEDHART: The main thing about the whole trapeze is that you have to - the timing has to be perfect. So if you listen to the calls, you'll have no trouble.

INSKEEP: Of course.

MARTIN: No trouble.

INSKEEP: No trouble at all.

MARTIN: No trouble.

INSKEEP: It's just fine.

MARTIN: So Goedhart did clearly listen to the calls from up there on her trapeze. You can see her do this in this amazing video online. She's wearing a red-white-and-blue leotard, sailing through the air, held only by a safety harness. She's doing the splits. It's pretty crazy. She made it into the 2019 Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest-performing female trapeze artist. The book went on sale this month.

GOEDHART: And I'm very honored to be flying on this journey of my life. I certainly never expected it. To me, it's like doing the impossible.

INSKEEP: She hopes her record will encourage people not to think that they can't try something new. We got a lot more on our journeys, she says. Isn't it fun to do the impossible?

(SOUNDBITE OF GAUCHO'S "J'ATTENDRAI")

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.