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- Nationality: China
- Date of birth: 12 September 1977
- Profession: Paragliding instructor
- Supporter: Yan Chen
- Glider: NOVA-XENON
- Harness: NOVA-ARTUS
- Sponsors: WOWPARA (my own club/school), Nova, Suunto, Altitude Eyewear
ABOUT THE ATHLETE
List your top 5 adventure flying, hike & fly or vol biv experiencesHike and fly is still at its very beginning in China. Even though I don't have as many experiences in hike and fly or vol biv as the pilots from the Alps, I could consider myself as one of the pioneers of hike and fly in China. We had a similar race to the Red Bull X-Alps back in 2013, a 500km race in Inner Mongolia, I was in the organization and was one of the supporters. So I did the most part of the hike and fly by myself and I was doing quite well. In 2017, I was the team leader in this hike and fly challenge to Yaomeifeng Peak (6,250m) in Mt. Siguniang. We were three pilots, and we achieved the goal that we set out to do - fly over the peak.
List your top 5 paragliding competition resultsThe first Chinese pilot to obtain a PWC qualification letter A, the only Chinese pilot who got selected twice to the PWC Super Final, two times national XC Champion of China, multiple Champion in Linzhou Open, task winner in PWC Linzhou 2019, no.3 pre-PWC Pokhara, Nepal 2013.
How many years have you been flying?24 years
Tell us how you got into paraglidingMy hometown Linzhou has always been the center of paragliding sport in China, where the very first paragliding club in China was found. I lived near the club and I had always been a mountain lover, so it was only natural that I fell in love with flying.
How many hours do you fly a year?Averagely 200 hours per year since 2003, 200-300 hours per year during 2005-2015, total air time is over 4,000 hours by now.
Summarize the paragliding experience which you think qualifies you to do to the race?First of all, I have confidence in my flying knowledge and skills, I've been flying in most mountains and alpine ranges in China in the past 20 years, many of my flights were the very first paragliding flight that have ever been done in those mountains, and many of my flights are still the XC record flights in that area. I used to take the professional track and field athlete training when I was younger, and I've always been enthusiastic about hiking and trekking. So I have the fundamental physical condition it takes to do hike and fly races, such as the Red Bull X-Alps.
What has been your best paragliding moment?When I did a 178km flight in my hometown Linzhou and it stayed as the XC record in China in the following years (even though now it doesn't look so impressive).
And your worst moment?I've been lucky not to have part of my body broken in 24 years of flying. But the worst moment I could recall is that back in 2006, when I first got the idea of acrobatics, I had very little knowledge and was young and ambitious. With a borrowed acro wing I was so excited, but my mistake made the wing spin, I was quite close to the cliff when I tried to recover. I managed okay with a slightly harder landing. But then I was dragged by the wing towards the cliff. I deployed both reserves while I was falling and lost conscious. Luckily, I was saved by trees on the cliff, without any injuries. It was my worst moment, and my luckiest moment.
What is your adventure racing / endurance events experience?I used to take the professional track and field athlete training for years when I was younger, but it was mostly about being a sprinter. Later on, I got hooked with long distance hiking/trekking in the mountains and I've been doing that regularly for years.
List your top 5 best adventuresClimb and fly from Yuzhu Peak (6,300m), took off at 5,800m. 178km record XC flight from Linzhou. Solo exploring hike and fly tour along the Tian Shan mountain range in Xinjiang (the 'Alps' in China). 130km XC flight in Qinling mountain range, being the first pilot to fly over the famous Mount Hua. XC flights in Annapurna area in Nepal.
What’s your training philosophy? Do you follow a regular plan?Progress step by step, follow a scientific and effective path, be persistent.
Do you follow a special diet?No. I'm open minded to try different food.
What’s your approach to nutrition?I believe it's all about balance, I take advice from professionals and follow a nutrition plan that's made for me.
What wing do you fly?I've been flying the competition wing from Gin for about 15 years. Now I'm importer of NOVA, BGD and 777. If selected, I would fly NOVA XENON.
What is your race goal?My goal is to bring out the best performance of myself, to challenge myself.
What is your approach to risk and safety? What are your rules for staying safe?Safety is always on top of my list. There's no fun when there's no safety. I like to push my limit, I know there are risks, but I need to prepare and manage the risks. I won't do anything that's out of my ability without being prepared for it.
Why do you want to take part in the Red Bull X-Alps?I love flying, especially XC flying. I also love to try new things, explore and face challenges. To take part in the Red Bull X-Alps is something I've always wanted to do, and it seems about the right time in my life to go for it.
Why do you think you have what it takes?I have what it takes to fly, with knowledge and judgement that I learned from many years of experiences. I'm persistent and always try to progress (that's why paragliding has taken me so far along the journey). I'm physically fit and am ready to train 120% for this race once selected.
What will be your race strategy?Plan the pace smartly, always have a plan B and C or D, use the opportunity and stay positive and motivated.
Who makes the ideal supporter?I hope to find a supporter who knows the Alps very well, who's an experienced pilot and who knows well about meteorology.
Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?No. And it's not just me, no Chinese pilot has ever done something of this magnitude. This is also why I want to "breakthrough".