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Felix Baumgartner prepares for next leap of faith - marriage

Wednesday 17 Oct 2012 9:53 a.m.

Felix Baumgartner with girlfriend Nicole Oetl (Red Bull Stratos)

Felix Baumgartner with girlfriend Nicole Oetl (Red Bull Stratos)

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By 3 News online staff

Felix Baumgartner, fresh off making the world's first supersonic skydive, has decided to settle down and marry his girlfriend, Nicole Oetl.

UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports Baumgartner, who said yesterday's jump would be his last, has proposed.

"He loves Nicole like mad and now will walk her up the aisle as he has achieved the ultimate in his profession," a source told the paper.  

Baumgartner has also spoken more about the death-defying jump, which he says was "much more difficult" than he expected.

"The exit was perfect, then I started tumbling. I thought I'd get it under control, but then it really started. I really picked up speed, it got very violent. It was really brutal at times."

Just when he began to worry he wouldn't be able to, the 43-year-old managed to regain control.

"I was fighting all the way down because I knew that there must be a moment where I can handle it. For some reason, that spin became so violent, over all axes, and it was hard to know how to get out of that spin."

 If he didn't, there was a good chance blood vessels in his eyes and brain could have burst.

"It's like swimming without touching the water, and it's hard because every time it turns you around you have to figure out what to do. So I was sticking my arm out, then it became worse.

"I had a lot of pressure in my head. But I didn't feel like I was passing out. I was still feeling OK. I thought, 'I can handle the situation.' And I did."

 The jump – seven years in the planning – had already been postponed twice without getting off the ground. Yesterday's successful attempt was almost thwarted when his visor fogged up, already more than 35km in the air.

"You think you'll have to abort," says Baumgartner. "What if you've prepared everything and it fails on a visor problem? But I finally decided to jump. And it was the right decision."

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