Apr 25, 2006, 3:00 PM
Post #1 of 4
Skydiving history in Russia?
First, I apologize for not putting this in Russian. My Russian is very poor, and dificult to understand. I am hoping someone here can help me with something. I am taking a russian class, and will be giving a short presentation on skydiving in Russia.
I was mainly wondering what the differences between skydiving as a sport now in Russia and prior to the colapse of the Soviet Union. Have there been significant changes in the sport, regulatory or otherwise?
Jun 13, 2006, 11:36 AM
Post #3 of 4
Re: [fc2spyguy] Skydiving history in Russia?
[In reply to]
the backpack parachute was invented by a Russian officer in 1911, and the sport flourished greatly during the Soviet Union. It was driven by the military reformers during the 20th and 30th who understood the vast changes in warfare strategy and tactics long before the Western military establishment (here there is an interesting parallel to fascist Germany). Later many of those military people fell victim to the Stalinist purges but parachuting had already started to become popular by then. During all the communist years, it was taught to teenagers 15 an upwards at paramilitary camps, which helped to identify a lot of fine talent. Til today, parachuters enjoy a high image among the military and the general population as a daring elite force, much like the marines in the US. The annual parachuters' holiday usually turns into a free for all with blue barrets everywhere and the police keeping a polite distance unless they really become VERY rowdy.
Still today most of the 30 somethings with thousands of jumps started in the military. The paramilitary camps are gone and the sport turned commercial, as everywhere, barring a lot of youngsters from entering it. Also, the remaining non-commercial organisations are operated in an old-fashioned way that is not very attractive to a young generation used to the trappings of a globalized lifestyle.
But as you can see from the 400 way world record participation, Russia will continue to play a major role in the sport. And with the gung-ho mentality of many here, skydiving is sort of designed for this place.