Thursday 18 December 2014

Boyle and Coe tributes to stuntman

Published 15/08/2013 | 07:37

Mark Sutton parachuted into the Olympic Stadium, dressed as James Bond, during the London 2012 opening ceremony
Mark Sutton parachuted into the Olympic Stadium, dressed as James Bond, during the London 2012 opening ceremony
Trient in Switzerland, where British stuntman Mark Sutton was killed in an accident (Valais Police Department/PA)

Danny Boyle and Lord Coe have led tributes to Olympics opening ceremony James Bond stuntman Mark Sutton after he died in a wingsuit crash in the Swiss Alps.

The 42-year-old former British Army officer, who parachuted out over the Olympic Stadium dressed as 007 during the showpiece spectacle, died after hitting a mountain ridge during the freefall from a helicopter near Mont Blanc.

Wingsuit experts said Mr Sutton, a Royal Bank of Scotland contractor from Shere in Surrey, is thought to have made a mistake which cost him his life as he fell at speeds of up to 125mph.

One experienced instructor, who did not wish to be named, said the "responsible and very calculated" jumper appeared to have miscalculated the gradient of the ground he was flying over, meaning he hit the ridge as the land flattened out.

Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting director Boyle, who directed the opening ceremony, said Mr Sutton's death was "a huge loss to his profession".

He said: "In a brilliant partnership with Gary Connery, they made the stadium gasp at the opening ceremony in London 2012 and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world.

"The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton."

Lord Coe, who chaired the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), said Mr Sutton's death was "desperately sad news".

The peer, now chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: "I was shocked to hear the desperately sad news. The cast and volunteers in London became a very close-knit family.

"We are all thinking of Mark and his family at this incredibly difficult time. Mark was a consummate professional and team player. He will be widely missed."

Press Association

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