Yesterday parachuting canopy piloting and paragliding accuracy athletes and officials had a last chance to get ready before the competitions start tomorrow in Cali, Colombia, at the World Games 2013, in front of full rows of spectators.
Jessica Edgeinton from USA, one of the top female canopy piloting athletes with high hopes for the World Games Champion title, was getting ready for the competition : "We don’t have super strong wind here, but we are going faster because of the altitude [Cali is located at 1000 m], so it is challenging, especially for the accuracy event. The course set up is nice, and today we had a good practice. For tomorrow I try to keep my focus and not overanalyze everything, relax and get some good sleep," she said.
Amongst the paragliding pilots, many were happy with their last practice flights. Matjaz Sluga from Slovenia, ranked number 1 at the World Paragliding Accuracy rankings said: "This is really a beautiful place for having a paragliding event. It is exciting for all of us paragliding pilots because we never competed at such a high-level event, nor in front of that many spectators. As for the weather conditions, they are usually good, apart from the wind direction that often changes." The two practice days were useful for the pilots to get used to the winch used to lift the pilots up in the air. "At the beginning, we had trouble reaching the necessary height, but this has been corrected and we are now fully ready," he continued.
"Preparing such a big event – actually two events as there are two different sports - is not an easy task, to say the least. The two practice days were really useful to smooth things out and make sure that everyone, athletes and officials included, know what is going to happen when and how. It has been challenging, but we have now reached the point when we can expect the competition to be safe and successful," FAI Senior Sports Manager Rob Hughes said.
The World Games are organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The 2013 edition takes place in Cali, Colombia, over a period of 11 days from July 25 to August 4 2013. 32 official sports feature in the programme, including Parachuting Canopy Piloting and Paragliding Accuracy, while AeroMusicals (Aeromodelling) is present as a demonstration sport. The Parachuting and Paragliding competitions run concurrently on the same site, for maximum spectator interest, from 1 to 4 August 2013. Some 65 competitors (36 for parachuting and 29 for paragliding) gained entry to the Games.