By Gary Anderson

August 15 - OLYMPIC STUNTMANBritish stuntman Mark Sutton, who wowed the crowds by parachuting into the Olympic Stadium dressed as James Bond during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games, has died following a skydiving accident in the Swiss Alps.

The former army officer (pictured top) got into difficulty during a jump from a helicopter whilst wearing an aerodynamic wingsuit and crashed into a mountain ridge near the Swiss town of Martigny, suffering fatal injuries.

It is believed that Sutton, 42, was intending to land in a village just across the border in France when he got into difficulties during a three-day wingsuiting event which was being attended by a number of experienced wingsuit pilots.

Wing-diving is an extreme sport which involves using a special jumpsuit with wings that allow the wearer to glide and usually ends with the divers using a parachute to land.

Local police have revealed that a formal identification of the body is underway and an investigation into the tragic incident has been opened.

Sutton, who was from Surrey, rose to international prominence last year as he and stunt partner Gary Connery - who was dressed as the Queen - jumped from a helicopter hovering over the Olympic Stadium wearing Union Jack emblazoned parachutes as part of the spectacular Opening Ceremony to the Games.

Mark Sutton and Gary Connery jump from a helicopter over the Olympic Stadium during the London 2012 Opening CeremonyMark Sutton and Gary Connery jump from a helicopter over the Olympic Stadium during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

A distraught Connery said he had lost a close friend.

"In any sport where you share a common bond you can make friends in a heartbeat that last a lifetime," he said.

"My relationship with Mark was like that."

Danny Boyle who directed the 2012 Opening Ceremony claimed that Sutton was "gentle and thoughtful" and that the stunt profession had lost a "fine" and "brave" man.

"The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton's," said Boyle.

"On behalf of everyone in the show we were all honoured to have worked with him and to have known him as a friend and a professional.

"All our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues."

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