In 2015, Long Beach resident, Jake Hardy was in between classes on his college campus when he tried his hand at folding paper planes for the first time since elementary school.
He then learned about the Red Bull Paper Wings, an international paper-airplane competition and decided he would give it a shot.
He’d played baseball before, so he had a good arm that eventually took him to the World Finals as the United States representative in Salzburg, Austria.
On May 18, Hardy won gold for the distance category, flying his plane nearly 186 feet, which is about as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Hardy plans to return to the finals in 2022 to defend his coveted title.
You can watch Hardy’s winning throw here:
Jake Hardy, winner of the gold trophy for the distance category of the Red Bull’s Paper Wings World Finals in 2019, an international paper-airplane contest; he tweets @2JHardy2