I enjoy watching BASE jumping, which is a sport I find quite incredible ; these guys (and girls) laugh in the face of fear and really push the limits of extreme sports.
BASE (or B.A.S.E) jumping is a sport where the jumper wears a packed parachute and jumps from stationary object. B.A.S.E is actually an acronym which details the four areas from which the participant can jump: buildings, antennae, spans (bridges) and earth (mountains/cliffs).
Italian Roberta Mancino is a famous skydiver and BASE jumper (see the video of her below). At the age of 21 she recalls watching the movie Point Break where the characters played by Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves go skydiving together. This inspired her to give it a try and she immediately fell in love with the sport.
Ten years on and she has participated in over 6000 successful skydives and has set several world records. Take a look at her in action in this video of one of her skydives:
In 2008 Roberta met a BASE jumper, Jeb Corliss, who later became her boyfriend. He encouraged her to branch out from skydiving and to try BASE jumping. At the time she said “Base Jumping scares me a bit: each jump is always different and dangerous. But parachuting doesn’t scare me at all.”
However she enjoyed it so much that she went on to make nearly 100 jumps in the year.
She then also made the progression to Wingsuit Flying which, as boyfriend Corliss describes it, is the furthest extent of what humans are currently capable of in sport, and the closest we’ve come to ‘flying naturally’.
Wingsuit flying has her jumping from high distances wearing a jumpsuit with webbed wings similar to a flying squirrel. This led her to proximity flying, which involves similar jumps and then gliding upward just before impacting against the ground.
She says one of her favourite quotes is “It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground.”
But that side of the popularity doesn’t seem to phase her, she says, “I like fashion but doing so much sport means that I rarely dress up. I’m always in sweats. The only time I can wear nice, fashionable things are during interviews, television and other events.”
She also has a black belt in martial arts and has swum with sharks for a television show. One of her new goals is to jump out of a plane and re-enter the same plane as it dives down.
Congratulations to Roberta, someone who truly enjoys life to the full!
Related post: Most Extreme Sports Video