Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner says the Middle East “is based on respect” and it’s something he puts on his “top priority list.”
“Having respect and giving respect. I think this is what life is based on. Middle East is really a [region] for that and it's beautiful. Look at the environment; it's beautiful if you look at the landscape. It's a lot of interesting people. A lot of humble people. I love being here,” Baumgartner told Al Arabiya during his visit to Lebanon’s capital.
Baumgartner is the first person to make the record-breaking jump from the edge of space above the Earth.
“Red Bull Stratos was probably to bring something to an end that I started five years ago,” Baumgartner said.
“I felt impatient that I cannot go any further because I did the highest building in the world, jump into the deepest caves and Red Bull Stratos was totally a new dimension,” he added.
Baumgartner added that he had to learn everything starting from the basics; “I'm not an astronaut, I’m not a scientist. So I had to learn everything.”
The world breaking jump was as high as 36 kilometers. “I like to put myself into a situation that is dangerous that is difficult. Also like to improve my skills. That is probably the biggest goal that I ever had,” Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner is the first person to break the sound barrier of around 690 miles (1,110 kilometers) per hour in freefall.
“This is so unique, because this is so outstanding and breathe taking. And of course breaking the speed of sound is something that no one ever did before. And this is what I was looking for all the time,” Baumgartner said.
The daredevil has succeeded in BASE jumps from some of the world’s most iconic locations, such as Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which stands at a total of 49.1 meters high and Taipei Tower 101 in Taiwan at 508 meters.
“I wanted to do something that nobody has ever done before. And I definitely wanted to leave a footprint on earth,” Baumgartner said.
The Austrian extreme athlete says his life has changed since his leap from the surface of the earth; “If I look at myself I just have to sign a lot more autographs and there is a lot more people who want to [take] a picture with me. That is the big difference to my life before.”