Blue skies and light winds are the ideal conditions for any skydive but Golden Knights do not always have those luxuries. Even in the face of questionable weather their mission still remains the same, to bring the U.S. Army to the American public. This was the first year that the Golden Knights jumped into the 2012 Never Quit Challenge. Since the event has a large Navy and Marine Corps influence the honor was previously held by the Navy’s Parachute Team the Leap Frogs. This year was different though, the event coordinators wanted the best so they called upon the Golden Knights to get the crowd pumped and ready to go.
During the Never Quit Never Challenge held on the beach in Jacksonville Florida the Knights did just that, never quit. With a tight landing area, grey skies and the winds almost at their limits the Gold Demonstration Team took on the challenge and performed remarkably for the over ten thousand spectators and competitors just before the 5K run on Saturday morning. Some of the jumpers also dug down deep and took on the 5k run just after the jump. Going into its fourth year the Never Quit Never Challenge started just a few hundred participants but has grown each year with now almost ten thousand. The mission of the Never Quit Challenge is “To educate the community on how to avoid Brain Bleeds, Stroke and Heart Disease through healthy life choices and encourage everyone to take on a Never Quit attitude and live life to its fullest.” This event was inspired by Captain Gerard Petroni of the U.S. Navy who suffered a stroke and brain bleed in November 2006, but through the support of his family and local community Gerard was able to live on for another three years until his passing in 2009.
Also while in Jacksonville the team was invited to attend a presentation from Nick Vujicic a man who was born with no arm and no legs who overcame his disabilities to become a world traveling evangelist. Nick Vujicic is also the president and CEO of a non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs. Since his first speaking engagement back when he was 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions of people, speaking to a range of different groups such as students, teachers, youth, businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, and church congregations of all sizes. He has also told his story and been interviewed on various televised programs worldwide. Nick was also a main speaker who opened the Never Quit Challenge earlier in the morning boosting the competitor’s spirits just before the events.