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Michael Swanson

 

No one has more U.S. National and World gold medals for three-way freefly skydiving than Mike Swanson. His four national titles and three world championships, multiple gold medals at the legendary Space Games, and other major triumphs have set him apart in a very elite group of athletes. He has also co-organized and participated in five world records (two of which were honored as being among the most memorable of the year by the National Aeronautical Association), including the current mark of 108 people freeflying head down in formation. Flying is Mike ́s passion and his job when he’s not doing demos with the Red Bull Air Force or filming for movies and television, he's busy coaching skydivers from around the world and refining his own skills to an even higher level. Although born in Duluth, Minnesota, Mike grew up in Vermont. My father has run the Malone Parachute Club in Swanton since I was five Mike says, so when my friends were at home playing baseball, I was at the drop zone. As a 16-year-old, Mike made his first solo skydive in New York, and at 18 he took his first BASE jump at West Virginia's epic New River Gorge. In the two decades since, Mike has become recognized as a pioneer of freeflying and compiled a resume that reads like a math lesson: more than 18,000 skydives (jumping from as high as 25,000 feet), over 1,000 wingsuit jumps (300 involving proximity flying), in excess of 700 BASE jumps, over 200 hours as a private airplane pilot, roughly 300 live shows... He pilots paragliders and paramotors, has won multiple medals in high-speed canopy competition, and has been a professional aerial cameraman for 16 years. Not bad for a guy who gets uncomfortable climbing a ladder. Yeah, its true, he admits, ̀I dont like heights in situations when Im not flying  like if Im hiking on the side of a big cliff. But skydiving doesnít bother me, because I trust my gear. And filmmakers trust Mike himself; recently he has contributed to projects including Transformers 3,in which he performed stunt flying through downtown Chicago, and he's a central character in the new Human Flight 3Dî feature film. Both required intensive training in wingsuit proximity flying high-speed flight just an arms length from skyscrapers and mountain cliffs. It is definitely the most fun Ive had so far, Mike says. But now Im working on a TV series called The Search: we search out new locations to speed fly and proximity fly. Theres still a lot out there to discover.

 

 

 
Michael Swanson
Michael Swanson
Michael Swanson
Michael Swanson
Michael Swanson
 
 

    Bio

  • Birth-Date
    January 09, 1973
  • Birth-Place
    Duluth, MN
  • Residence
    Truckee, CA
  • Sport
 
 

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