Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner became the first human to go through the sound barrier when he made the highest ever freefall from 39km (24 miles) over New Mexico in October.
Baumgartner, who jumped out of a balloon from a height of 128,100 ft, also broke the record for the highest ever freefall, beating the 102,800 ft achieved by Joe Kittinger in 1960. Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph (1,342 kmh) during his fall. It took him just under ten minutes to descend, only using a parachute for the last few thousand feet.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member and explorer-adventurer Mike Horn, whose expedition around the equator won him the Laureus Action Sports Award in 2001, said: “If you dedicate your life to go beyond limits, you can only be admired. Inspired by others to push human limits further than what has been achieved before, needs passion, dedication, knowledge and a belief in success. Where the will to win becomes bigger than the fear to lose, only when you take that step can you discover new lands. Felix took that step long ago and the proof is in what he has achieved.”
His fellow Laureus Academy Member Robby Naish, who won 23 windsurfing titles in 16 years, said: “Felix Baumgartner just awed the world with his amazing sky dive from space.”