Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia: Re: [tonybrogdon] 88 Olympic Opening Ceremonies: Edit Log

pchapman  (D 1014)

Oct 17, 2007, 10:44 AM

Views: 4637
Re: [tonybrogdon] 88 Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Everyone's memory differs!

I'm just reporting what I read. In late '88 a Canadian on the Olympic jump, Eileen Vaughan, wrote an article for Canpara magazine. While she could have gotten erroneous information too, this is what she had to say:

"Our only misadventures included one Korean malfunction on a practise jump. After his cutaway and reserve opening he landed in the stadium under his Firelite. Unfortunately, members of the media only saw his cutaway main fall to the ground and assumed it was a person. The rumours were rampant for two days that someone had been killed, though no one bothered to verify the fact. One U.S. media group went so far as to send a report back to the U.S. that a Golden Knight had been killed. That generated several reassuring phone calls to confirm that there were no problems. The other mishap occurred one windy day when 5 CIP jumpers got caught concentrating too much on flying the formation and not on accuracy and landed out of the stadium (National Accuracy Champs, mind you). No, I wasn't one of them. A few red faces on that one. This also generated some media."

Eileen was one of the national accuracy champs who participated to do non-contact CRW stacks. The other two groups among the skydivers were the champion RW teams who formed the Olympic rings in freefall, and a group from the Korean army.

Each of the freefall rings was made by a different RW team: the Golden Knights, Tag Heurer (France), Coors, Air Bears, and Mirror Image.

The jumpers had apparently all been offered Pursuit mains (in the required Olympic colours) / Firelite reserves / Racer Elite containers at a good price, so I imagine that was a combo many had.

Edited: Jerry Baumchen mentioned how a rings team member said there was no malfunction... if Eileen is correct, then the team member is correct only that there was no mal among the rings teams.

Edit #2: What the hell, here's some more from the scanned article:

"Over the next 6 days we made 19 practise jumps from 3 U.S. Army Chinook Helicopters (plus a few spares as are usually required). We made all but 6 jumps into the main stadium with the others made onto an open DZ at the Kwangnaru Yatching Centre in Seoul. We all preferred the Olympic stadium as you can imagine, and that's where the reporters were. Flying past the upper edge of the stadium and getting lots of lift and turbulence while trying to perform a "non-contact CRW stack" really got the adrenaline pumping. Most of our jumps looked more like tight accuracy stacks but we still had our work cut out for us in making the jump of Olympic standard. Fortunately, working with the best jumpers in the world make it possible, even with some language barriers.
For our first two days of practise, each group worked separately, with long delays between each part of the show. We then progressed to the intended routine of each group landing immediately after the other to work on our timings for the show of only 7 minutes and 30 seconds (or so). In order to fit in with the rest of the ceremonies show, we had to make the timing perfect. Each jump was videoed and critiqued for effect and timing. We had to perform given any weather or wind, so we varied our exit altitude from 2000' to 4000'. The Rings Team worked with a range of 2000' to 11,000' with modifications. At 2000" they would hop and pop like us and the Koreans, to fly only a canopy show. At 3500' they would drag out each ring separately. At 6000' or over they would go for the whole Olympic Rings formation. These guys were hot, as they completed a 20-way, (in fact a 32 or 33-way with a couple alternates sliding in) from 5500'!! Lots of yahooing after that one. Being the lightweight on the CIP load, I was usually of top of the stack, which was a beautiful view of the group and pattern that we flew. The first of the yellow ring guys would be right on my heels for landing or even land a couple before me, so I had to keep an eye out for them on their opening.
The days were long due to delays and holds for air traffic, other people using the stadium, and endless briefings and debriefings. We usually made 4 jumps per day from 7:30 a.m. till 8 p.m. with a break for our daily "western" lunch of cold cheeseburgers and warm Cokes. Soon we were offered a vegetarian option of 3 doughnuts and an apple. "

(Emphasis mine on the good old school RW altitudes!)

(This post was edited by pchapman on Oct 17, 2007, 10:58 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by pchapman () on Oct 17, 2007, 10:48 AM
Post edited by pchapman () on Oct 17, 2007, 10:58 AM

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