Tom did his usuual top professional job but need to give credit to Norm Kent, Jan Davis and Ken Crabtree for the Video as well. It was Norm's picture of the rings over the stadium that Time Magazine published as its 1988 Time magazine picture of the year (centerfold ) Ken was the engineer that helped stream live video to the media and Jan was on the lip of the stadium getting the landing shots. BJ was on my board USA Skydiving Society, Inc. as Vice President. It took a team effort of a lot of people to both convince the Seoul Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee to risk allowing it to happen. All in all it changed the perception of the world towards skydiving to being a sport verses dare devils foolishly risking our lives. Also without my two Korean partners, Richard Chung and President Roh, Tae Woo's cousin Jay Ryu it never would have happened. Roh, Tae Woo became President of South Korea shortly before the Olympics. He was former head of the Korean Airborne and was responsible for getting the Olympics to Korea. The picture on my website shows Roh, Tae Woo reading an endorsement letter from Former US Senator and Former Governor of California Pete Wilson. He got on his phone shortly after that picture was taken and ordered President of the Seoul Olympic Committee, Park, Seh Jik to make it happen. Over the next 2 1/2 years , many events took place to make it come about. very few people are aware that on the last rehearsal jump the day before the actual ceremonies that one of the skydivers had a reseve ride and the Korean media reported it as a fatality. Park, Seh Jik was up all night arguing with goverment officals to cancel the skydiving portion and not take the risk. They were not aware that Roh, Tae Woo had ordered Park, Seh Jik 2 1/2 years earlier to make it happen no matter what.
(This post was edited by tonybrogdon on Oct 16, 2007, 9:33 AM)
1. I remember the rings photo as being on the cover of Time (I've been a subscriber since the fifties). I do not think that they ever had a 'centerfold' (you've got your magazines mixed up ) or a Picture of the Year.
Just my memories.
2. I once posted here about a malfunction on a practice jump and had a reply from someone who was on the rings team that said that there never was a malfunction.
It was the centerfold of Time Magazine's 1988 Pictures of the Year. I have a copy. My grand kids have it. Check with Norm Kent.
My Partner Jay Ryu was the one who told me about the media thinking the malfunction was a fatality and he knew first hand that Park, Seh Jik, President of SLOOC was up all night. I made 5 trips to Seoul each time meeting with Park, Seh Jik and other committee members. Orginally on my first trip Park, Seh Jik came to my hotel, The Shilla Hotel in Seoul and gave me a letter stating that SLOOC was going to put the Skydiving in the opening Ceremonies. On my second trip I learned that the South Korean Assembly objected to have USA Skydiving Society, Inc. which I was President and CEO of having such an important part of the Opening Ceremonies which they considered more important to show case thier culture. We then agreed to include a World Cup in the Olympic Stadium exactly one year ( 1987) prior to the Olympics. I traveled to Ireland along with my partner a short time later to offically ask the International Parachute Committee PIA to hold the 1987 World Cup in Seoul. Austria who had already been awarded the World Cup had to offically recend and allow it to happen. The same opponents fought tooth and nail up until the last minute to prevent it. It's possible that most of the actual jumpers were not aware of a malfunction. It was a among the 22 other countries who's skydiver had a round reserve landing on the lip of the stadium. I am very sure of what of what took place. A good person to person to substantiate what I am saying is Craig Fronk who was on the jump and former member World Champion Coors Skydiving Team or Larry Bagley, USPA's Director of Competition. he was there also.
Thanks Jerry for your comments and questions.
(This post was edited by tonybrogdon on Oct 16, 2007, 3:48 PM)
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)
Gary (Hod) Sanders was a member of Mirror Image back then. He sometimes talks about that jump into the Olympics. He lives in Missoula, Montana. I'd bet he'd enjoy discussing old times, if anyone wants to contact him. He also owns Skydive Montana....
As I stated orginally it was an effort of a lot of people with many facets to it as many opportunities to funnel it. Thank God though everyone in the actual demo did an incredible job as the video shows.
I thought ( dare I say remember ) that the rings team used Vectors. You're right. The cover of ParaGear #54 (attached) shows the rings jumpers all had Vectors. (The photo credit says "Kent, Crabtree, Sanders" - somehow their photos must have been pooled or shared.)
The Racer thing might have been just for the CRW / accuracy folks. Who knows.
(This post was edited by pchapman on Oct 17, 2007, 8:23 PM)
A couple months ago I nabbed a yellow Vector I on Ebay that has the Olympic Rings on one mud cover and Seoul 1988 script on the the other. With the SN and DOM, 8-22-88, Mad Dog at Relative Workshop confirmed that it was given to Golden Knight Charlie Brown for the event. The rig is nearly like new so it must have been passed on to someone else who ended up jumping little (although it has been fitted with a Cypres kit and a BOC pouch). It's a V-5 so would have been sized right for a 220 s.f. main and a Firelite reserve. As soon as I get a reserve packed into it I'll get it back into the air - maybe with that nice old Pegasus sitting in the closet.