Pilots and skydivers arrive in Poland for The World Games

Abdulbari-QubaisiPilots and skydivers have arrived in Poland for the start of The World Games, an international multi-sports event taking place in Wroclaw, from 20-30 July.

The World Games are for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. Held every four years, this year the 10th World Games will feature some 4,000 competitors from 100 nations across 60 different sports and disciplines.

Competitions in three air sports will take place: Paramotoring; Glider Aerobatics; and Canopy Piloting (Swooping).

Welcoming the competitors to Wroclaw, FAI Secretary General Susanne Schoedel 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 FAI has had three air sports represented at The World Games. I wish you happy landings throughout the competition.”

Alex-MateosThe air sports competitions take place over three days 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.

The competitors taking part are among the best in their field.

Paramotoring World Champion Alex Mateos (right) 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.”

Jeannie-BartholomewSkydiver Jeannie Bartholomew (left) 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!”

Abdulbari Qubaisi (to picture) is more used to jumping at the desert drop zone of SkyDive Dubai, where he is a professional skydiver. 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.”

He added: “We have been jumping here for eight days. 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.”

Ferenc-TothAnd Glider Aerobatics World Champion Ferenc Toth (right) was also looking forward to it, although he said the three day competition would be tough. “We only have four competition flights, but 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 programme.”

He added: “I’m optimistic, although we will see about the weather. All the good pilots are here.”

The World Games official opening ceremony will take place in Wroclaw on the evening Thursday 20 July 2017, with an expected crowd of 35,000 spectators.

The air sports events at The World Games will be covered on the FAI social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – as well as with daily reports on the World Games website for air sports and on the FAI website.

Photo credit: FAI / Marcus King