Country's Top 500 Skydivers Set To Compete In Arizona Beginning Thursday
The top 500 skydivers nationwide are set to compete at the 2012 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships, the world's largest annual skydiving competition, October 25 through November 3 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, AZ.
As a tuneup to the event, masked candidates "President Barack Obama" and "Governor Mitt Romney" aired things out – upside down and at 12,000 feet! USPA coordinated the stunt over Skydive Perris in California, with skydivers Travis Fienhage and Andy Malchiodi, World and U.S. Freefly Champions from team SoCal Converge, in honor of competition – for President and the skydiving champion.
At Nationals, the country's finest, fastest, most fearless aerial athletes will take the plunge and push their skydiving skills to the limit, competing in five disciplines: Formation Skydiving (4-way, 8-way, 10-way and 16-way events), Artistic Events (which include stunning Freeflying and Freestyle), Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing (also known as "the classics"), Canopy Formation and Vertical Formation Skydiving.
The U.S. Parachute Team—the country's top aerial athletes—have their final opportunity to show what they've got before heading to Dubai, UAE, at the end of November for the World Parachuting Championships. Also, in the classics event, U.S. Team member Cheryl Stearns, who recently reached 19,000 jumps—a U.S. record for most jumps for a female—looks to hold onto her national champion title.
The championships are free and open to the public. Sports fans and spectators can catch the action happening thousands of feet above the drop zone on video monitors, as well as view hundreds of colorful canopies filling the sky and thousands of dramatic landings.
(Image courtesy USPA)