"I love to learn, and I'm inspired by new challenges," says OJ Lawrence, creator of the Red Bull Air Force. "My peak performance comes when I'm scared, in make or break situations that prove I have the mettle to succeed." A national champion in paragliding, OJ is also an expert B.A.S.E. jumper and skydiver; and as the originator of the RBAF, he established the group's reputation and masterminded epic flying adventures.
Born in 1974, Othar John Lawrence grew up in Carbondale, Colorado (the town he still calls home), where he explored just about every alpine sport. "In college, I was looking for fresh challenges, and that's when I met my nemesis, the air," he recounts. OJ made it his goal to conquer the skies, and he had the best possible teacher to get him started: his longtime friend (and now RBAF teammate), paragliding wizard Chris Santacroce. At 34, he's still looking for new challenges. OJ's latest objective is airplanes, having passed his private pilot exams, he's voraciously learning aerobatics. "By the time I'm an old man, I want to be accomplished at skydiving, B.A.S.E. jumping, paragliding, hang gliding, ultralights, sailplanes, airplane aerobatics, everything," OJ states. "I really do want to be a master of the air."