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Governor Daugaard Skydives


Governor Dennis Daugaard is safe on the ground after skydiving tandem 10,000 feet wednesday evening. The Governor made a commitment to skydive if the Dairy Queen in Madison could sell more than 32,000 blizzards on miracle treat day. It is an annual event which raises money for Children’s Miracle Network. The Madison Dairy Queen sold more than 38,000 blizzards. This was Governor Daugaard's first experience skydiving.

Governor Daugaard is proud of himself after jumping out of an airplane Wednesday evening.  The Governor arrived around 6 o'clock at the Madison airfield and spent the first hour preparing for his flight by signing safety waivers as well as getting into his harness. Almost two hours later, Daugaard jumped from a small passenger plane at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Minutes after the jump and harnessed to an experienced skydiver, he safely touched down. Daugaard says he was anxious before the jump.

"I was ready to jump. I forgot that Dan said we were going ready, set, jump. So, I was all ready to go and I kept waiting; when do we go? And then I felt him push forward and then I remember pull back and it was sort of dive out. Don’t jump out, don’t push off, just…dive," Daugaard says.

Credit Nate Wek / SDPB
Governor Daugaard Prepares For Landing

This is Governor Daugaard’s first experience at skydiving and he says it was like nothing he has ever done before. He says the jumping part wasn’t as scary as he originally thought. Daugaard says the sight of the ground at 10,000 feet altitude is breathtaking.

"When you’re in a plane, of course you can always see out one window; can’t really see 360, can’t see everything you wanna see always. Well you can see everything, it was spectacular, Governor Daugaard says.

Daugaard is now being questioned whether or not this is something he would do again in the future. He says if the blizzard sales on miracle treat day continue to rise, then he would.

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.