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Sat, Jul 22, 2017

Air Sports Set To Shine At The World Games 2017 In Poland

Games Will Run Through The Weekend

The World Games 2017 opened in spectacular style in the city of Wroclaw, Poland on July 20 with an opening ceremony of light, sound and music in front of 35,000 people.

Three air sports are represented at the games: Paramotoring, Glider Aerobatics and Canopy Piloting (Swooping). The air sports athletes joined their colleagues in the opening ceremony, which saw each country’s athletes and competitors parade through the stadium behind flag bearers, all set to a stunning sound and light show.

Sixty-six pilots and skydivers will be competing for prestigious World Games gold medals in their respective disciplines. The air sports competitions take place from 20-23 July 2017 at Szymanow Airfield in Wroclaw, Poland. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are full competition days, with Monday held over in case of poor weather. All three air sports are based at the airfield, with a big screen and dedicated seating making it accessible to spectators. About 1,000 people are expected to attend on each of the three competition days.

Welcoming the competitors to Wroclaw on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, FAI Secretary General Susanne Schödel laid out the importance of The World Games to the world of air sports. “The World Games are not just a fun competition. They take place under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee and are about showcasing the best side of our sports to the IOC and to the world.”

She added: “This is the first time that the FIA has had three air sports represented at The World Games. I wish you happy landings throughout the competition.”

Paramotoring World Champion Alex Mateos is here, having made the journey from his home in France. “It’s my first time in Wroclaw,” he said, adding he was looking forward to seeing how the “new tasks with new rules” play out.
“The difference here is that the paramotoring tasks are not over water, so they have been designed to be slower and to involve a lot of precision. I have been training for that, so let’s see.”

Skydiver Jeannie Bartholomew is taking part in the Canopy Piloting competition. She said: “I was here last year for the test event and it was really well run. I like it when they pick unique cities for competitions. The drop zone here is nice, a big open field and a good pond. I’m looking forward to it!”

Bartholomew is competing alongside her husband Curt, himself a five-time Canopy Piloting World Champion.

Abdulbari Qubaisi is more used to jumping at in the desert dropzones of the United Arab Emirates, where he is a professional skydiver in Dubai. Was he looking forward to the competition? “I am looking forward to winning gold!” he laughed. “Yes, I am looking forward to the competition and showing people what a good sport we have. The most important thing has been that the people have been so nice. They have made it very easy, you feel like you are in your own home.”

And Glider Aerobatics World Champion Ferenc Toth was also looking forward to it, although he said the three day competition would be tough. “We only have four competition flights, so it will be different to a normal world championship. The rules make the tasks harder to fly, with tougher penalties for mistakes. It’s a challenging program.  I’m optimistic. [But] all the good pilots are here.”

(Source: FAI news release. Images provided)

FMI: www.fai.org

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