young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

Young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving

Polish high school student Maja Kuczynska, aged 17
Warsaw - AFP

Dressed in a white skintight full body suit and helmet, Maja Kuczynska spins furiously before diving into a fast-moving sequence of airborne gymnastic moves with the elegance of a ballet dancer.

Soaring into yet another spin, she then floats, twists and backflips in choreographed maneuvers akin to acrobatics or ice-skating suspended in midair. Her expressive and dizzying two-minute display is enthusiastically applauded by the crowd seated around the outside of the wind tunnel.

At the age of 17, the Polish high school student is one of about 20 top indoor skydiving competitors worldwide, who are pioneering the solo freestyle version of a sport they call "flying".

"It's more of an artistic approach to the subject," the slender and sleepy teen told AFP, at 3:00 am on a Sunday as she waited to practise at the busy vertical wind tunnel in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

"It's such a fast-paced discipline, right now there's no one to teach me," she adds.

Vertical wind tunnels, where air moves up a column that stands up to 20 metres (66 feet) high, were first developed for aerodynamic tests. Their recreational use has gained in popularity over the last decade among skydivers seeking a safer alternative to jumping out of a plane.

Wind speeds in the tunnel can reach up to 300 kilometres per hour (186 miles per hour) and, while the moves look effortless, staying in control requires enormous strength, flexibility and precision.

But there are no limits on creative freedom.  

"It's really different from, let's say, ice-skating, because it's been around for such a long time that now it's really hard to create new moves, while in the tunnel I can go in and play and create something nobody has ever seen before. 

"A couple of different people and I are creating this discipline," Maja adds.

- Olympic dreams -

She won the bronze medal in solo freestyle at a major international indoor skydiving competition, the Wind Games 2017, last month in Empuriabrava, northeastern Spain.

Competitions have rounds involving compulsory moves and others where anything goes. 

A video posted on Facebook of Maja's performance, choreographed to Major Lazer's hit song "Powerful", has gone viral, gathering 30.5 million views in just over a month.

She was only outdone by Singapore's 14-year-old indoor skydiving sensation Kyra Poh, who won gold in the freestyle category, and Czech competitor Jakub Harrer, who took silver, according to the Wind Games 2017 official website.

Although there are still just a handful of people worldwide competing at the top level in the solo freestyle category, there is already talk of the sport making it to the Olympics.

"Indoor skydiving is the only aerobatic sports discipline that meets the criteria for being an Olympic discipline," claims Bartosz Wiecek, manager of the Fly Spot vertical wind tunnel in Warsaw.

"It's following the same path as snowboarding, which at one time was very 'underground' and very independent. 

"In the end, an agreement was reached and it became an Olympic sport because it gained popularity," he said.

- Kids too -

Several vertical wind tunnels have popped up in Poland. They can operate around the clock and are much cheaper and safer than skydiving out of a plane.

There is also no age limit.

Maja says that when she started six years ago, she was among a handful of indoor skydiving children around the globe including two girls in Singapore and "a couple of siblings in Dubai". 

"But now, half of the flyers at least, at competitions for freestyle, are kids!" she said.

At just nine years old, Polish "flying" competitor Olga Lubak will head to Montreal in Canada, along with Maja, in October for the World Indoor Skydiving Championships.

For now, Olga is spending hours in the wind tunnel to perfect her routine.  

"I'm really stressed out because I'm afraid of being last but I don't think that will happen," she told AFP, before being swept up in the wind tunnel in another series of "flying" twists, turns and spins.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving young pioneers push envelope on freestyle indoor skydiving

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 20:25 2017 Thursday ,21 December

AD Police raise readiness level to deal with emergencies

GMT 21:17 2017 Tuesday ,01 August

Chandimal to lead Sri Lanka recovery bid

GMT 04:52 2014 Tuesday ,01 April

February 18 - March 19

GMT 19:37 2013 Monday ,07 October

Small bathroom interior design ideas

GMT 19:00 2017 Monday ,27 November

UAE budget ensures continued development

GMT 10:28 2018 Monday ,22 January

Uggs, pigs and tartan

GMT 20:03 2016 Thursday ,21 January

Sisi, Xi inspect monuments of Luxor Temple

GMT 05:07 2014 Thursday ,15 May

US crude production climbs to 28-year high

GMT 13:15 2017 Saturday ,23 December

US suspends military cooperation with Russia

GMT 17:53 2017 Thursday ,26 January

Another Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed in Japan

GMT 02:09 2017 Wednesday ,25 October

Jul24/Aug23

GMT 08:40 2017 Saturday ,16 September

'Not serious' Kyrgios pulls Aussies level in Davis Cup

GMT 22:50 2017 Thursday ,26 October

Boeing keeps tough line on Bombardier as earnings fall

GMT 07:45 2016 Wednesday ,18 May

Fighting against terrorists top priority in Syria

GMT 06:09 2017 Monday ,25 September

Federer leads Europe to maiden Laver Cup title

GMT 05:45 2017 Thursday ,16 March

Tourists head back to Europe

GMT 21:35 2016 Sunday ,06 November

Voting Begins in Bulgaria's Presidential Election
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday