Champion sky diver talks about his passion - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Champion sky diver talks about his passion

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Last week he and his team took home Gold medals in the United States Parachute Association's National Skydiving Championships.

Part engineer... part skydiver, Chris Gay is one of the Superstars of the skydiving world.

He's performed more than 12,000 jumps in his 20 plus years of sky-diving. He's even set a world record.

Now, he and his team are winning gold medals, and the rights to do lots of bragging. "I do work for the U.S. Military. I do work for foreign militaries on a demonstration level," Gay said.

That's just one of his jobs. He's also an engineer. And the two sometimes go hand in hand. Like when he designed the diamond canopy formation for a world record jump back in 2007.

"We decided to see how big we could go and I was the person really responsible for designing the formation," Gay said.

100 people jumped that day. All taking their turn in a dangerous dive from 18,000 feet.

"I think it's really calculated risk," Gay said. "You hear about people getting killed in car wrecks all the time. The same thing with skydiving, but most of the time, it's human error."

But there have been very few errors in Gay's 12,000 jumps. That's why he has so many of these. Most are for bragging rights, but a couple awards and medals have special meaning, like one he received after saving someone's life after a mid-air collision.

"I came up beside her parachute and moved in and grabbed a hold of her, and flew her to the beach, where we landed. Which was probably one of the scariest events I'd ever been in."

That life-saving event took place in Spain, one of more than ten countries he's jumped in.

And he doesn't just hold one world record for skydiving, he holds more than 10.

Chris Gay has also done many tandem jumps.

Gay took up an interest in skydiving while attending Georgia Tech. He saw a demonstration and that same weekend, began his skydiving career.


 

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