The Wind Games is the largest competition in the wind tunnel or indoor skydiving world. It would be surprising if you have not heard of it yet. Although, surely you have seen videos of athletes routines that frequently are shared across social media. Not only is Wind Games an anticipated yearly competition, it also has been a huge player in innovation and changing the face of tunnel flight competitions around the world.
Personally, I have always loved Windoor and the staff at the tunnel. It is with so much gratitude, and pride that I am able to work alongside the team at Windoor (Cori Sirois). During my time helping with The Wind Games 2020 competition, I have learned some really incredible information and facts about the competition. And so, in this weeks blog post, I am super excited to be able to share some facts with you!
What is the Wind Games?
Wind Games is a competition developed by the creative minds at Windoor Realfly in Empuriabrava, Spain. Beginning in 2014, it is now hosted every year near the end of January. Each year the competition hosts athletes and teams from all around the world. As well, videos of routines from the competition are broadcasted and shared with various media outlets from across the globe!
Although you might not be at a competitive level – yet! This competition will inspire you even more to why you should try indoor skydiving
There are five disciplines that take place during the Wind Games competition:
- Formation Skydiving – Open and Female
- Vertical Formation Skydiving
- Dynamic – 2 Way
- Speed – 4Way Speed, Solo Speed and Relay Races
- Freestyle – Junior and Open
Would you like to learn more about each discipline? Check out the The Wind Games 2020 website, for details and rules on each of the disciplines that take place at the competition!
Changing the face of wind tunnel competitions
As mentioned, I have began working with Wind Games competition. During this time, learning some really interesting information about the developments Wind Games have made in wind tunnel competitions. Personally, I do not have a vast knowledge of how things came about within the competition world. However it was surprising to learn Wind Games impact!
Do you know those captivating freestyle routines that awe and amaze us, as the flyers seem to dance along to the music? Well, turns out Wind Games started this! It was the first indoor skydiving competition to actually have the competitors flying to music that was broadcasted to judges and spectators to hear. Apparently, in the beginning of Wind Games, a freestyle competitor was granted permission to listen to her music in headphones while flying. Permission was granted by the FAI International Skydiving Commission. Resulting, the idea to broadcast music to the freestyle free round performance was born! How cool is that?
Absolutely, these freestyle routines to music are a hit with flyers and non-flyers all over the world. In fact, videos are constantly being shared, and the beauty of the flying that flows with the music mesmerizes us all. Assuming you have heard of Maja Kuczynska, the first ever Red Bull sponsored Indoor Wind Tunnel flyer. Instantly, her performance at the 2016 Wind Games exploded on the internet. This helped launched Maja on her path, and soon after she became sponsored by Red Bull.
In the past, indoor skydiving competitions were only hosting 4W dynamic rounds and free routines. This was news to me, being newer in the sport, always seeing both 2W dynamic and 4W dynamic. Well, this is another innovation of Wind Games. Along with the help of 4W dynamic creator Adam Mattacola, the athletes at Windoor created the new disciple of 2W dynamic. Furthermore, we are accustomed to seeing the free rounds with fun music, that gets us all super stoked to watch. Likewise to the above scenario with freestyle, because of the Wind Games competition, music is now broadcasted with the dynamic free routines. And really, I couldn’t imagine not having music, as its such a fun part of the competition.
Another fun fact! Wind Games is the creator of the solo speed discipline. When learning this, I wanted to know who came up with the idea. Cesar Rico, the chief instructor, and well known champion flyer, was the mastermind behind this. How did he come up with the idea? Apparently, as he told me, it was a funny situation. Often, with 2W dynamic teams blaming slow speed rounds on their teammate. And so, to put the controversy to an end, Cesar had the idea to create the solo speed discipline. Now no one could point fingers at their teammates. Having the tunnel to themselves, it was now up to each competitor to prove just how fast they really were!
Alright, you may not be as familiar with this event. Yes, its called an event, not a discipline. However it is super fun to watch! This new event was created last year for the 2019 Wind Games, and is continuing on again this year. Teams are made up of four flyers, and they individually fly rounds, as fast as possible and exit the tunnel to hit a “red button” located in the antechamber. Hitting the red button significates that the next team member can go into the tunnel and fly their round. After all four teammates finish flying and hit the red button for the final time, the fastest team will be the winner!
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