The 2017 Wind Games were recently held in Spain and featured skydivers from all over the world competing in a number of indoor skydiving1 events. Maja Kuczynska competed in the freestyle category and her routine/dance/performance was arresting.
My mind broke a little watching this. People are not supposed to move like this, like superheroes…it looks like not particularly well done special effects. At several points, the way she moves reminded me of Saruman toying with Gandalf before flinging him to the top of Orthanc in the Fellowship of the Ring.
Here’s her performance from another angle. Wow. Just wow. Kuczynska finished third in the event while Kyra Poh took first…here’s Poh’s winning routine.
(Just so I don’t bury the lede too much here: THIS IS INSANE.) Wingsuit flyers keep upping the ante. For awhile, it was enough to glide at 100 mph a foot or two off the ground. Then they started flying through gaps between skyscrapers. And then through holes in mountains. Last year, Gary Connery landed safely in a pile of cardboard boxes without the use of a parachute. And now, watch as Raphael Dumont, straps on his wingsuit, climbs an Italian mountain, and LANDS SAFELY ON A LAKE WITHOUT A PARACHUTE.
Raphael Dumont, human seaplane. That shit cray.
Update: Rumblings on Twitter are indicating that this is fake. I WANT TO BELIEVE. (But that footage of the landing is shot on the world’s shakiest camera for no reason so…)
To demonstrate a pair of their products, Google arranged for a group of skydivers to jump out of a blimp and parachute onto the roof of the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the building in which the Google I/O was being held. The divers were each wearing a pair of Google Glass networking glasses and video chatting on a Google+ Hangout.
Here’s what it looked like from the ground:
I think this is what Robin Sloan was referencing in his tweet earlier:
Watched #GoogleIO. This company is totally Doc Brown. In one corner, an automatic banana-peeler; in the other, A WORKING TIME MACHINE.
Gary Connery is apparently the first person to skydive out of an aircraft and land on the ground without injury without the use of a parachute.
Who knew that watching a freefalling car would be so beautiful?