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David Liano Gonzalez
- Nationality: Mexico
- Date of birth: 19. Dec. 1979
- Profession: Finance
- Supporter: Alejandro Gonzalez Medina
- Glider: Ozone LM5
- Website: www.davidliano.com
- David Liano Gonzalez is a name every adventurer and climber should know. He holds the Guinness World Record for summitting Mount Everest twice in the same season, while having completed that incredible climb six times total. Do his flying skills match up with his climbing and hiking experience? Red Bull X-Alps 2017 will tell.
- When and why did you begin paragliding?
Over eight years ago, as a more efficient and safer method of descending from the peaks I climb. I've now transitioned to competitive paragliding but continue climbing at the highest level.
- Do you paraglide competitively? List rankings and events.
Currently competing at PWCA Portugal. In the last 18 months I've participated in 6 FAI I&2 competitions, making it to the podium in my class in Colombia's Copa Atmoxfera Piedechinche. Currently ranked 4th in my country's CIVL National Ranking.
- What is your mountaineering experience?
23 years climbing experience: 6 times Everest summit (Guinness World Record for double ascent in the same season), several 8,000m peaks, highest mountain in every continent, several ascents in the Alps, Andes, North America, etc.
- What is your paragliding experience?
My local flying site is Valle de Bravo, but overall I've spent months flying in Europe; in France, Switzerland and Austria, Spain and Portugal. I have several years of experience of high altitude flights in the Mexican Volcanos, Nepal, the Himalayas, North West of the United States and several other flight sites in Mexico.
- What is your adventure racing / endurance sport experience?
I participated at the X-Pyr 2016. Also, I have participated in several Ironman triathlons, over 18 marathons, hundreds of road races, endurance cycling and a few one-day adventure races.
- What does your typical training week consist of?
During the week I do the equivalent of an olympic distance triathlon every day, in two daily sessions. On the weekends, I'm usually climbing volcanos and flying off the summit or doing paragliding XC flights.
- What are your best and worst adventure/flying moments?
Without a doubt, my best adventure moment was completing the Double Summit of Mount Everest from two different countries in a single season. It was an extremely difficult project because of the logistical complexity and because of the extreme physical effort endured over several weeks. As a pilot, every technical take-off from the summit of a peak is a wonderful accomplishment. I am a very conservative climber and pilot and avoid putting myself in unnecessarily unsafe situations. I take very calculated risks. Nevertheless, I have participated in several mountaineering rescues, helping other climbers that have been caught in avalanches or have fallen.
- What are the sporting moments you are most proud of?
This year I stood on the summit of Mount Everest for the 6th time and did it to support "The Live Love Laugh Foundation" that helps people going through depression and mental health. Also, completing my first Ironman, my first marathon, my first 8,000m peak, testing the limit of my physical and mental endurance. Hopefully participating in the Red Bull X-Alps will be another sporting moment to be most proud of.
- When and how did you first hear about the Red Bull X-Alps?
Four years ago, while talking with Babu Sunuwar, a Red Bull X-Alps 2013 participant. In 2011 I had the privilege of watching Babu fly off the summit of Mt. Everest. Later, in Pokhara, he told me all about his plans for Red Bull X-Alps and it became one of my top goals to participate in an edition of Red Bull X-Alps.
- Have you competed in the Red Bull X-Alps before and if so, when?
Not yet. I applied for the 2015 edition but was not selected.
- What appeals to you about the Red Bull X-Alps?
The challenge, the distance and the top level competitors that get together every two years to participate in one of the toughest challenges on the planet. The idea of competing to cross one of the worlds most imposing mountain ranges, the perfect combination of strategy, paragliding skills and physical endurance.
- What will be your strategy during the race?
To take advantage of my strengths, which are my physical endurance and climbing/hiking experience. Constant motion during the allowed times. Also, the use of technical take-off sites, if necessary, since I feel comfortable and safe using them.
- On average, over a third of the Red Bull X-Alps participants fail to finish the event. Why do you think you will make it?
My experience as a climber and endurance athlete has prepared me to perform at the highest level of physical endurance for days and weeks without rest. I have also participated in trans-Oceanic, singlehanded sailing races in which I have been in charge of putting together the most complex logistics and that, with the mental drive necessary to achieve those goals. I believe those will be the key factors that will take me all the way to the finish line when others fail to do so.
- What scares you the most about the event?
I don't think "scared" is the right word, but I have a lot of respect for the high level of competition during Red Bull X-Alps. I will overcome that concern by preparing harder, pushing myself more, and spending as much time as possible flying in the Alps before the competition.
- Have you ever done anything of this magnitude before?
Yes. I will be participating on X-Pyr in just a few weeks. Although I consider Red Bull X-Alps to be an extraordinary challenge, I believe that my career as a mountaineer, endurance athlete and paragliding pilot has prepared me to be a competitive participant in the 2017 edition.