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virtual artistic skydiving contest


Sky on Stage (SoS) was an artistic skydiving contest held virtually for the first time between December 2020 and January 2021. The contestants were challenged to perform original freestyle choreographies in the sky or in wind tunnels. For the assessment, the contestants ensured that their performances were recorded.



Assessment – different from "judging" in traditional competition – was three-tier, with three distinct groups each establishing an independent ranking of the performances for each event. The three groups were:

· PEERS: fellow athletes competing in the same division/age group

· EXPERTS: skydivers with a solid background in Artistic Events outdoors and indoors

· ARTISTS: champions or masters with a background in artistic sports or arts


The assessors adhere to criteria that they establish for themselves and express their personal preference for one performance over another. In doing so, they produce a ranking, from first to last, through the comparison-based online review of the performances.


Under its "Throwback" theme, SoS incorporated a parallel contest for vintage footage of past performances. With part of the world subject to COVID-19 restrictions, going out and recording something new was not possible for everybody. But looking at existing videos of performances put in at some point in the past was an option. Selecting the very best and submitting it as vintage ensured that it was assessed by peers, experts and artists.


The results of the contests in all events are available from the Sky On Stage Dot Com website. Information on the contestants and interviews can also be found there. The dedicated video platforms are no longer online.


SoS is the brainchild of Stefania Martinengo, a former world champion in artistic skydiving. She came up with the contest format while on COVID-19 lockdown in spring of 2020. Combining her innovative concept for the evaluation of the performances with new terminology that made playful games out of competitIve events, she envisioned eight different games/events to be contested.


INDOOR SKYDIVING VISION (ISV) supported Stefania's project in the drafting of guidelines for Indoor Freestyle (together with Tamara Koyn and Bryce Witcher) and in setting up dedicated video platforms (through LaunchPad6). Fully aware that the circumstances - with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging globally - were far from favorable for the inaugural edition, ISV and SoS felt strongly that the contest could well constitute the only opportunity for skydivers to share their choreographies with the world.

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