The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) - The World Air Sports Federation, was founded in 1905. Skydivers from all over the world have been waiting for this moment of recognition where the indoor skydiving collides with skydiving and the indoor sport competition becomes real.
In November 2014, history was made in the air sports. For the first time ever Indoor Skydiving was recognized as a sport by the FAI and a World Cup was held at iFLY Austin in Texas, USA. Many countries were represented such as Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, France, Sweden, Czech Republic and Monaco.
This is also the first time that a junior category has been recognized within the air sport. Aerokart Akademie sent their best flyers, two FS junior teams with flyers ranging from 10 to 13 years old and an average score of 12.8 and 10.7, Akademie 1 and Akademie 2.
Both teams have been training hard and competed against five other teams in the same division leading the way for the Bad Boys, representing Czech Republic, with a beautiful win of 20.9 average score. Close behind was our USA team Spaceland Lite and Team eXact from Sweden. The podium never looked so good with so much international talent. In the female category, team Aerokart Deep Blue had a smashing victory with a 24.7 average score, allowing the female team from Czech Republic, Hurricane Factory Chicks, to get second place. These girls certainly made an impression with their coordinated jumpsuits and smiles.
The Freefly discipline, part of the Artistic Events, always amazes the general public with the synchronized movements and sent the crowd rallying with applauses. Not to be surprised, team USA has put an enormous dedication into showing the world their passion for indoor skydiving and created a routine that took the judges off their feet. Team Mandrake, composed of Chris Dixon and Javier Serrano, won Gold with a 65.0 total score.
Collective, the other USA team followed with the silver and Orion Freely from Sweden took bronze showing the judges’ one of the most challenging synchronized team exits of the competition The Mexican team, Avix, showed to everyone that with love and dedication, being part of the first world cup was an experience of a life time and to not ever be forgotten no matter what place you got.
If you enjoy a dance routine performed by a single person that is full of emotion and energy; full enough to make your arm hair spike, than you know that the Freestyle category blew away many eyes and made many heads turn. Music choreography and soft dance moves were incorporated to impress the judges and general public. The indoor World Cup hosted seven Freestyle competitors and they all had their unique signature moves. USA was represented by our ‘Golden Boy’ Reese Willson with an total score of 60.4 and a final round flown with his arms inside his jumpsuit to encourage the disabled to participate in the sport! In second place were the famous pointy toes of Mike Silva with team Collective of the USA, followed by the exquisite flying technique of Olga Bakulina and Leo Volkov with the Russian delegation. Following up the Russians was Drew, Man of Steele, of the USA with his shocking triple flips, then the youngest world medal holder in indoor skydiving history Mateo Lumnios with his matching orange shoes. Lastly in the Freestyle category, Lise Hernandez Girouard represented Canada and got the crowd singing to “pretty woman” during of one of her performance rounds.
Three countries were represented in the VFS category, USA, Poland and Mexico. SDC standard held their world class status with an average score of 24.3, sharing the podium with team Fly Definition in second place and Avix from Mexico in third. SDC Standard teammates Mickey Nuttall, Will Pesek , Rook Nelson and Jason Peters set the bar really high for anyone that would like to take their World Champion title away next year!
A few years ago Gillian Rayner, the IPC Controller, explored the idea of creating the World Cup Indoor skydiving, working with Axel Zohmann, Director of the IBA, and iFLY Operations Manager, Erin Horton. Modifying the rules of skydiving and adapting them to an indoor 14 foot wind tunnel, we dedicated this World Cup to all future World Champions that will come after this grand year.
To many hours of flying in the wind tunnel and to leaping into new winds, may this year motivate many of us to train and to empower our community to achieve new flying skills. We raise the glass to the FAI for making this dream a reality for all of the competitors. Here Here!