Base-jumping ‘Elvis’ wishes Latvia another Happy New Year

For the third year running, a base jumper dressed as Elvis Presley has parachuted from a high-rise building in Riga and posted the video of the jump on the Internet as a New Year’s greeting from “Elvis and friends”.

This year the base-jumping ‘Elvis’ chose for his annual feat the landmark Press House, a Soviet-era skyscraper which used to house the editorial offices of numerous newspapers and magazines but has now been abandoned for several years. For this year’s jump the 77-meter-high building on the left bank of the Daugava offered a magnificent view of the city skyline resplendent with Christmas lights.

"Just like our greetings in previous years, this year’s base jump was also a surprise to both passers-by and the building’s security guards,” Elvis and friends said in a press release.

They added that while the derelict Soviet-era building stood for the past, the panorama above Riga from its roof showed how much things had changed during the years since the restoration of Latvia’s independence.

The daredevils insisted their base jumps in the urban environment were thoroughly planned and executed safely to avoid any harm to persons or property.

The posted video shows ‘Elvis’ walking through the abandoned Press House premises, with reflective strips shimmering on his costume, climbing the stairs to the roof, putting on the parachute and jumping off. After a smooth landing, he picks up his parachute and throws it into a vintage convertible driven by another ‘Elvis’. After a brief dance for the benefit of an approaching security guard with a flashlight who almost catches up with them, Elvis No. 1 jumps into the car and they drive off, waving.

In previous years Riga’s base-jumping costumed Elvis had leapt from the Ministry of Agriculture building (also known as the “Grain Silo”) as well as from the roof of the Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia.

The Latvian police are looking for the base jumper, who now faces a fine of around €70 for his offense. According to the police, his reckless stunts clearly fall into the category of ‘petty hooliganism’.

 

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