Final Results Senior http://www.freeflightnews.org.uk/champs/ch22/WC22D.HTM
Final Results Junior http://www.freeflightnews.org.uk/champs/ch22/JWC22D.HTM
First off, I would like to reiterate that it was an honor and a privilege to be asked to act as Team Manager for this year’s World Championship. Traveling with a group to a foreign land you end up making much deeper connections with people and, to a person, it was privileged to get to know each member of this team better.
I also had the opportunity to meet a lot of the European competitors who I knew by name, perhaps by email, and come away from this contest with many new friends. A World Champs is a bit of an immersive experience; dining together, flying together, riding buses together.. you get to know people on a more substantial level than social media and email allow. There are lots of follow-ups with people that will occur once we get home based on random conversations that were started but not yet completed.
Without having to worry about my own flying, I got to see some things I don’t normally notice:
- We ALL experience obstacles along the way. Our Juniors had their struggles with learning the unique aspects of flying in the mine, but even our senior team who had all been here before had their struggles. Each and every one of them persevered through those challenges and found solutions. It strikes me that that is a unique characteristic of this hobby/sport. You have to develop processes that work for YOU to work through the challenges that will inevitably come. You can’t panic.. you can’t just quit.. you HAVE to work through the issues one variable at a time to find a solution.
- That “working through the challenges” is actually the FUN part.. if this hobby/sport were easy, it wouldn’t be as fun! And succeeding after adversity is much sweeter!
- The friendships we make along the way are worth infinitely more than any trophy, plaque or medal. Your fiercest competitor is the one cheering the loudest for you on as you take your place on the podium.
I am so incredibly proud of our Juniors. Between their parents and Coach Chuck who have instilled in them a strong sense of self, they conducted themselves with the utmost respect and sportsmanship throughout the competition and took the time to have fun whilst competing. If anyone is worried about our future.. don’t! These young people are smart, caring and incredibly empathetic. They worked together as a TEAM!
After watching a lot of fierce competition, I am more convinced than ever that the hobby is healthy and on a path to continuing long into the future. Reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated!