By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4) – Sydney is slight, but powerful and decked out in a white flying suit and helmet. You have to look closely, but there are two pink wings on the sides of her helmet.
She looks like a space action figure out of a movie and flies like a super hero or even a modern day Hermes.
It’s hard to believe the image swooping down in front of spectators is an 11-year-old girl from Parker. More impressively, Sydney is now the national indoor sky diving champion beating out people twice her age!
She is one of the youngest competitors in the nation with the ability to fly faster and longer than most adults. She describes herself as a competitive person, but also shy.
Sydney tells CBS4’s Britt Moreno she does not really talk about her victories, and she is shy at school. She acknowledges being a different person when flying. She becomes this fierce, bold competitor.
Indoor skydiving is tough, resistance sport. iFly Coach Mike Silva explains to Moreno Sydney is holding her body weight against 150 mph wind speeds rushing up from the bottom of the wind tunnel.
“It requires core strength and a lot of muscle,” Silva said.
A beginner indoor skydiver flies closer to 100 mph. A beginner also flies for an average of four minutes, but Sydney can fly for over 10 minutes at a time.
Sydney is a true Colorado girl who enjoys hiking, being outside, taking care of her family’s llamas and skiing, but she would rather fly over anything else.
She tells Moreno her dad took her indoor diving when she was four, but by the time she was 8 years old, she was a serious competitor.
She describes indoor flying as “exhilarating and kind of a rush.” Sydney even asked Moreno to join her on a flight, which she gladly accepted.
When Moreno fell into the rushing air, she was surprised how her body gets sore after holding itself against the wind. A slight bend or straightening of your knees can propel you forward or backwards. A hand tilt can rotate you.
“It is truly amazing to now understand how incredible Sydney is at the sport,” Moreno said. She can twist, flip and dance.
“Is there a part of you that wants to try actual skydiving out of a plane?” Moreno asked.
“Yeah, but I am afraid of heights,” Sydney responded. Remember she flies to the top of a 50 foot wind tunnel and plummets!
What are the odds? An indoor skydiving prodigy bothered by altitude! Still it is clear the sky is the limit for Sydney.
LINK: iFly Indoor Skydiving
Britt Moreno anchors the CBS4 morning and noon newscasts and is the Wednesday’s Child reporter. She loves hearing from viewers. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @brittmorenotv.