Calif. woman, 86, sets record for world's oldest female trapeze artist

SAN DIEGO -- Betty Goedhart, 86, isn't letting age stop her, flying into the record books as the world's oldest female trapeze artist.

Goedhart flies through the air with the greatest of ease. The La Jolla, Calif. resident even overcame her fear of heights to fly on the trapeze.

"Very frightened of heights, very scared of standing on that platform and looking down and it's higher than you think, but I'm here, I jumped, and it was like it changed my life," she said.

Betty quite literally flipped her way into the 2019 Guinness World Record Book, becoming the oldest performing flying female trapeze artist, a title she earned at age 84, reports KSWB.

"But I hope somebody beats me someday," she said. "I was honored, and I still think it's an honor."

Her aerial ambitions began as a young girl growing up in Sugar Creek, Missouri.

"I saw these women flying in the circus, and I said someday, 'I'm going to do that,'" Goedhart said.

Betty became a trapeze artist sort of by chance. It was on her 78th birthday that a friend gave her a gift certificate to try trapeze for the very first time. That was eight years ago and now, Betty's become a seasoned veteran.

"For me, it's another world," Goedhart said. "It is a world that i didn't expect in my life, and I feel very blessed."

"You know, every now and then an older person will come out, and, they'll do it, maybe cross it off the bucket list, but they don't normally come back, but she comes four times a week," said trapeze catcher Andrew Duncan. "She practices more than I do, and she's amazing. Every time I see her climb that ladder, I'm always proud of her and the tricks she pulls off are better than mine, so she's amazing."

Betty's ambitious spirit gave her a professional ice skating career that spanned five decades, traveling the world performing with the company Holiday On Ice, where she also met her late husband. In 2004, she sold her business in England and moved back to the U.S. to retire.

"I don't know how long I'm going to be able to do this, so I better enjoy today and get the most out of it," Goedhart said.

"It takes a lot to become a trapeze artist, and for her to do it at her age, is just beyond amazing," Duncan said.

But age doesn't mean much to this record holder, who encourages others to never let age hold you back from experiencing something new.

"Try it," Goedhart said. "Try it. You might be surprised and then you're very proud of yourself."

And she can say that very proudly.