Letter: Teva opened arms to paragliding | VailDaily.com

Letter: Teva opened arms to paragliding

Greg Kelley, Vail Valley Paragliding, Vail Soaring Club

I would just like to give a big, huge thank you to Untraditional Marketing, the people of Vail, Teva and all the sponsors of the Teva Mountain Games, and the people who came to cheer on, and support the athletes.

This sports event is by far the most amazing, unique, and diverse event in the world. What a joy to be able to observe the athletes up close, showing their passion for their chosen craft, in a world-class setting.

I would like to thank Untraditional Marketing for their support and consideration to make paragliding part of the Teva Mountain Games.

With the publicity, excitement, and interest in having a cross-country paragliding race from Wolcott to Vail with multiple turn points, it would have been very special to see the sky brighten with all the colors of the wings in the air.

It was unfortunate that we were under the influence of unfavorable conditions for the cross-country spectacular. Yet, as I walked through the village observing the other games, many people asked, and were excited that we would be able to have at least one day of competition to light up the valley with gliders. With rain one day, and strong wind the next three days, the pilots were grounded, meeting three times a day, hoping for a launch window for a race.

The gliders do have limits. Winds in excess of 20 to 30 miles per hour in the mountains make conditions very risky for a task. I have to commend the competitors that came to fly for their patience and perseverance, holding out to the bitter end, hoping to take to the skies.

This is a spectacular event that ushers in the summer. Vail, the people, the sponsors, the athletes, Untraditional Marketing, and the venue make this an event to never be missed.

I hope next year you will see and meet all the paragliding athletes, landing in Ford Park with big grins on their face, 35 miles of racing and 3 hours of airtime for your visual enjoyment. May the Games go on.

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