Athletes paragliding in Kitzbühel

Athletes paragliding in Kitzbühel

By Paula Kim on 22/06/11 at 8:26 am

After a tough weekend of racing in Kitzbühel, a group of triathletes took a well-earned morning off to head up the famed Hahnenkamm Mountain to try their hand at paragliding.

The triathletes, including Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Barbara Riveros Diaz (CHI), Felicity Abram (AUS), Jessica Harrison (FRA), Andrea Hewitt (NZL), Lisa Mensink (NED), Nicky Samuels (NZL), Elizabeth Bravo (ECU) and members of the Dutch team took the cable car up the 1712m peak, famous in Austria for its challenging World Cup alpine ski race.

Athletes were then offered a customary shot of schnapps before Riveros Diaz and Abram were the first to take to the skies on a tandem paraglide. The girls were treated to incredible views swooping down the valley and even given full control of the glide before the instructors took over sending the girls on 360 degree loops. 

“It was very cool. I screamed a little bit, but then it was really fun” said Riveros Diaz.

Brownlee, who dominated the men’s race on Saturday, also took flight as part of his weekend celebration.  Nerves were not an issue for Brownlee, standing atop the steep slopes just before taking off.

“It’s not as bad as standing on the start line of a race. I’m really excited to do it,” said Brownlee, who joked it was great preparation for this weekend’s European Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.

Harrison was last to soar from the mountains and captured the whole experience gliding down the mountain on Riveros Diaz’s video camera.

“It was really cool, pretty amazing. I’m glad I got to do it,” said Harrison.

The athletes also enjoyed lunch at the top of the Hahnenkamm as well as a tour of the starting gate of the Alpine race.  A visit to the Hahnenkamm museum included a simulation of the experience of speeding down the world-renowned ski run.  The athletes were gracious to the Kitzbühel race organisers for their warm hospitality and for coordinating the day’s activities.

Next up on the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series is Hamburg, Germany on July 16-17.

Find more details about this event - 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Kitzbuehel