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Mark Sutton, stuntman from London Olympics in 2012, dies in wingsuit jump

British stuntman Mark Sutton, dressed as James Bond, parachutes into the Olympic Stadium during the Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony. (Lewis Whyld/AP)

He wasn’t a competitor, but Mark Sutton got one of the biggest cheers of the 2012 Olympics.

Mr. Sutton, 42, who died Aug. 14 during a wingsuit jump in the Alps, was the skydiver who parachuted, dressed as James Bond, into London’s Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony, alongside a stuntman garbed as Queen Elizabeth II.

It was the punch line to a filmed sequence in which Daniel Craig’s Bond escorted the real queen from Buckingham Palace onto a helicopter — and, for many, the highlight of director Danny Boyle’s ceremony.

Swiss police confirmed that Mr. Sutton died when he crashed into a rocky ridge near Trient in the southwestern Valais region. Online extreme sports broadcaster Epic TV said Mr. Sutton was killed during a gathering it had organized involving 20 wingsuit pilots who were filmed as they jumped from helicopters.

Wingsuits — aerodynamic jumpsuits that make wearers look like winged superheroes — allow fliers to jump from planes, helicopters and cliffs, soaring for long distances before opening parachutes to land.

Recalling the Olympic ceremony, Boyle said Thursday that Mr. Sutton and fellow diver Gary Connery had “made the stadium gasp . . . and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world.” Mr. Sutton was the tuxedo-clad Bond, and Connery wore a pink dress and wig to play the queen.

A former British Army officer with the Gurkha Rifles, Mr. Sutton worked as a derivatives adviser and was an accomplished skydiver. He had worked with Connery on a bid to complete the first jump from an aircraft without a parachute. Mr. Sutton filmed Connery’s successful attempt in May 2012.

Valais police, who are investigating the fatal accident, said Mr. Sutton crashed into a mountain ridge and fell to his death after jumping from a helicopter at 10,800 feet.

Trey Cook, Epic TV editor in chief, said Mr. Sutton jumped with another diver who was wearing a camera; the moment of impact was not captured.

— Associated Press



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