Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ueli Gegenschatz soars in a wingsuit

By Jason L.

Ueli Gegenschatz is a very adventurous and courageous man. He tackles the most dangerous and scenic mountains, buildings and cliffs. Ueli began his adventure trying out many different types of skydiving and base jumping, but once he found the one he preferred, Ueli wanted to pursue it and break a world record.

Paragliding was the start to Ueli's dream to fly. He would takeoff from the top of a mountain, and he would soar cross-country only by the use of thermals. From their, Ueli embarked on Skydiving, he and three others would do acrobatic moves while fly at over 100 MPH. Together they would put on a show, while being filmed their entire flight down. Next Ueli established a new love for flying: they call it Wingsuit Soaring. Ueli is a part of the testing of Wingsuit, and he has enjoyed every second of it because it is the "leading edge of extreme sports, an exhilarating feat of almost unbelievable daring, where skydivers soar through canyons at over 110MPH". The Wingsuit has been used all over the world, Ueli soared off the top of a hot air balloon in Austria, and three famous mountains in Switzerland. Ueli is now on the mission to break a new world record of the longest distance ever flown.

Ueli Gegenschatz was very persuasive by using some breathtaking footage. Ueli demonstrated the functions of the Wingsuit by showing a variety of videos that he and his crew took while he was in flight. He illustrated the speed and path of his flight by attaching a orange smoke release mechanism, often found on acrobatic airplanes. However, I found the persuasiveness of the talk alone to be the opposite of his video. Ueli was very vague on most of his adventures leading up too the Wingsuit. I wanted to hear more about prior experiences. Ueli seem nervous and not a seasoned public speaker, but he did tell some very interesting stories. He was most descriptive on his jump off of the top of a Hot Air Balloon in Austria, and showed a lot of footage and pictures. In addition, the stories about places were he had been base jumping were also entertaining. Ueli wanted to jump off objects that no one has ever base jumped off of before, including Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland. He climbed three different mountains and base jumped off each of them in one day, and finally in 2008 he jumped off the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

In conclusion, Ueli Gegenschatz's Talk was inspiring and very breathtaking, due to his incredible stories and amazing footage. He is very brave and courageous when it comes to jumping from thousands of feet above, but he does not seem to have the same level of comfort and confidence in front of an audience. A worthwhile Talk to see.

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