Watch This Female Skydiving Team Celebrate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage With an Epic Jump
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which finally guaranteed and protected women’s constitutional right to vote. And the ladies of the Highlight Pro Skydiving Team aren’t letting this anniversary go by without a bit of celebration.
On Tuesday, the 11 members of the Highlight Pro Skydiving Team jumped over Nashville to commemorate the moment when Tennessee became the very last state to ratify the amendment, making it national law on Aug. 18, 1920.
"It was a moment in history that we wanted to highlight," Melanie Curtis, co-captain of the Highlight team, shared with Good Morning America. "We’re using skydiving to capture attention and then bringing that attention to social justice initiatives, to women’s rights, to gender equality, to equality at large."
As part of the jump, Curtis explained, she and her teammates carried flags with messages, including "Votes for Women," "Shall Not Be Denied" and "Equality Can’t Wait,” just like the suffragettes wrote on their protest flags 100 years ago.
The women also let off purple smoke as they leapt to the ground to represent their team colors.
"Women are underrepresented in skydiving and women are underrepresented in media and government, on boards of businesses," Curtis added in her interview. "We see that under-representation everywhere, so it’s not just skydiving for us, it’s more about those core values of what it looks like to be bold and brave and to use your voice and, right now, use your vote."
The team typically hosts major in-person events for their jumps, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, they decided it would be best to livestream the jump so everyone — especially young girls — could watch at home.
"I just think about being a young girl myself and being inspired by athletes on TV and watching the Olympics," Nelson Lowe, another member of the team, shared with Good Morning America. "Even though we can’t have live events, I still feel that we can influence women and girls on what we're doing and showcasing our sport."
Curtis astutely added, "The suffragists also faced a global pandemic when, in 1918, they faced the Spanish flu. The irony of us facing that now is not lost on us."
Check out the entire 18-minute event, along with commentary from the women, on the group’s Facebook page now. And if you want to catch the group live, they are performing two more jumps this summer in honor of women’s suffrage. On Aug. 25, the women will jump at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the spot of the historic “Women at the Valley Forge,” and on Aug. 26, they will jump over New York City.