120 kilometers per hour is the legal speed limit on Swiss freeways. It is also the speed at which a Swiss daredevil hit the surface of a Ticino river during a recent cliff-dive!
Lazaro "Laso" Schaller is a 26 year old Swiss with Brazilian roots. As part of his day job, he supervises the sports facilities for the city of Zürich and acts as a phys ed instructor. But his upbringing instilled a passion for sports in him, so Laso (as everyone calls him) routinely ventures into the canyons of Switzerland to look for those perfect cliff diving spots.
Ticino has more than 150 canyons
This is also how he has discovered the particular cliff above the Riale del Salto in Ticino. The Maggia valley is actually very popular among cliff-divers, and it comes to no surprise that the World High Diving Federation hosts their annual championship there.
While Laso would have loved to take a dive right then and there, he decided to ramp up his mental and physical self for the next four years. Now, on August 4, the daredevil athlete stepped onto a makeshift platform high above the river. Exactly 58.8 meters high, in fact.
That's the height of a 17 story building, or taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
As you will see in the video below, Laso did jump, and fortunately walked away with just a torn ligament in his right knee. For obvious reasons, a jump from such an altitude can go wrong in many ways.
What is most stunning about this entire stunt is that Laso did all of this for "free", because I would not even consider it for lots of money... The athlete's stance becomes even more honorable when you consider that the official video clip from Schweizer Fernsehen has since been acquired by Red Bull - for an undisclosed amount.
In the end, Laso jumped in order to challenge his own personal boundaries. And just by the way, he has also cracked the official world record.
(Feature photograph copyright by Lazaro Schaller/Facebook)
And I thought my crossing of the handeckfallbrücke in Grimselwelt was a huge feat