27 Februar 2011

Beijing, China, Timezone UTC +8

I was in Beijing for the first time and I was surprised to see - nothing! The smog above the city was thick and sickening, a superstrong inversion keeps all the industrial fumes of the city down low, you don´t see the sky or the sun properly. My eyes were red, and my voice went croaky.
Yet my curiosity drove me around, first to the Tian´anmen Square - a day before we arrived, there had been demonstrations for freedom and democracy, inspired by the latest developments in Egypt and Northern Africa. Police and military quickly drove those protests apart. Just today there were more protests. While I was in China, I couldn´t access any social network on the internet, no facebook, no blogspot - quite a strong censorship at the moment.
I met with some friends from my crew and we visited the forbidden city, the emperor´s palace, the temple of heaven, and on the last day the Great Wall.
We were really lucky - only on the last day, the wind direction changed and we could see a blue sky for the first time! When we arrived at the Wall, we had a great view in clear air of this strange, huge building - massive blocks of granite high up in the mountains, just as bizarre as the pyramids. And well, it was the perfect wind direction, flying would have been possible. Just nowhere to land, there are tree plantations everywhere, mainly chestnuts and fruit trees.
On the way back, we stopped at the Ming tombs and later on at the Olympic stadiums. Difficult to imagine how the athletes had to cope with this really dirty air in muggy summer, even though the government didnt allow people to drive their cars.
I was impressed by all the friendly, helpful people of Beijing - whenever I looked at a map or on the plan of the subway, somebody stopped and offered help. The subway is the fastest way to get around in the city, but you have to be prepared for a really tight ride at almost any time of day.
I enjoyed climbing around on the Great Wall - we were there quite early, and it was winter, so we were on our own, which is nice after the overcrowded metropole.

25 Februar 2011

Ski Flying on Servus TV!

On SERVUS TV you can watch a cool documentation about the top guys of "Ski Flying" - to me, flying without wings sounds fascinating, and in this program on Saturday, Feb. 26th, 18.15.-19.45 (German Time = utc +1) you can learn about the similarities and differences to our sport.
You will receive this program via cable or digital.
In any case, you can participate in a draw to win a PS 3 signed by Thomas Morgenstern with some of the best films of Red Bull TV here : www.servustv.com/überflieger

„Überflieger – die Kunst des Skispringens“ – im Red Bull TV-Fenster bei ServusTV

Dokumentation, 2009/2010

Samstag, 26. Februar von 18.15 bis 19.45 Uhr

Die Skispringer Gregor Schlierenzauer, Thomas Morgenstern und Janne Ahonen kommen dem Traum vom Fliegen näher als die meisten Menschen: Abspringen, abheben, schweben – das klingt leichter als es ist. Was treibt die Skispringer an? Was geht ihnen vor dem Sprung vom Schanzentisch durch den Kopf und welche Ängste haben sie? Alle drei Athleten springen auf Weltklasseniveau und wissen, dass es beim Skispringen um mehr als Sprungkraft, Bewegungsabläufe oder perfektes Material geht. Eine ordentliche Portion Mut ist die Voraussetzung, um neben der Schwerkraft auch die eigene Angst zu überwinden – vor einem Sturz, dem jähen Ende der Karriere oder sogar dem Absprung selbst.

"Überflieger - die Kunst des Skispringens" erzählt die Faszination Skifliegen entlang der Saison 2009/2010 aus den Augen der drei Top-Athleten - hautnah, authentisch und persönlich - vom Auftakt in Kuusamo (Finnland) bis hin zum Höhepunkt in Planica (Slowenien).

Die Dokumentation zeigt ein bislang unbekanntes Bild dieser faszinierenden Sportart und nimmt den Zuschauer mit in die Welt hinter der Schanze. Die Kameras haben Gregor Schlierenzauer, Thomas Morgenstern und Janne Ahonen auch in den schwierigen Momenten, die ein Sportler während der Saison durchlebt, begleitet – bevor sie als Sieger hervorgehen und den Traum vom Fliegen wahr werden lassen (mit Kommentaren der Sport-Legenden Toni Innauer und Walter Steiner).

17 Februar 2011

New Video!

There is a new video on the adidas air homepage, showing Regina, Alex, Karl and me flying in the dolomites, having fun, just enjoying the great place and the air before the winter break. I hope you like it!

11 Februar 2011

Free Egypt!

This evening, Hosni Mubarak stepped back as Egypt´s president after the brave people in Egypt had been protesting against the regime for nearly a month. My last flight had been to Cairo in January, just 3 days before the protests started and the country closed down. Now everybody hopes for a more democratic and just government, but it will take a long time and big efforts to create more constructive jobs. Many Egyptians in Germany are partying now as well.
Tourism has been the main income of the country, and after it stopped for the last weeks, I hope it will pick up again soon. To me, Egypt is very close to Europe, even though it is part of Africa. I often flew to Cairo and always visited the pyramids - riding on camels was just as much a highlight as learning about and touching those huge buildings of the past, the incredible National Museum, had a look at the back streets of the big bazaar, trying to lure out the secret recipe for the best falafels...
Also, many Germans love to fly to the diving places of Hurgada and Sharm el Sheik for a relaxed holiday - our team doctor Ecki got stuck there with his family during the ash cloud last year!
I really hope many people decide for a holiday in Egypt now to support the great people who stood up for their rights and beliefs!
All the best to everybody in Egypt - I admire everybody who fights for freedom and justice!

08 Februar 2011

Sueddeutsche Zeitung today

If you get a hold of Süddeutsche Zeitung today - Charly Forster, my favourite writer, published an article in today´s edition of one of Germany´s major newspapers, with great photos by Florian Wagner. Both are pilots too, that helps a lot ;)
Amongst other things, it is about the question of me doing well in what people usually regard as a men´s sport, and how the guys cope when I sometimes get ahead of them. Well in many ways the guys do better than me too - on this photo, you see the current World Champion Alex Ploner (our gliders look extremely similar from above, and we both were at the photo shoot in the dolomites). His aerobatics are beautiful, Alex is just as skilled a pilot as Guido, and Im happy that he sneaked into this article in a subtle way!

04 Februar 2011

Article in the Red Bulletin about the BD-5J

In the current Red Bulletin you will find an article about Guido´s new toy plane, the BD-5J. You can download the magazines with the article in German or in English. If you like the full English version (I could not find it for download yet), please let me know and I will email it to you.
And be sure that Guido will be buzzing around the classic Red Bull fleet in this little superfast jet on one of the next air shows where Red Bull participates!

02 Februar 2011

Timezone at Flugschule Hochries!

Now you can buy the great Timezone gear online in the shop of Flugschule Hochries or when you walk into their shop at the base of Hochriesbahn. I was happy to see the nice photo of Regina, Alex and me on their page today.
Helene´s and Robert´s team of teachers and tandem pilots from Flugschule Hochries have often helped me when I needed a reliable tandem pilot to take photographers or camera guys from TV crews into the air while I fly around them. Sometimes this has to happen with very short notice, plus we have to rely on their weather forecast for the shooting. I am really glad that I always had such a good support from Helene´s team and the DHV in this matter, which I think is important to show the media people that our sport is professional.

01 Februar 2011

Where´s the weather?

The Brazilians had some tough weather at their first comp of their nationals in Sapiranga, with Andre Wolf doing really well - good training for the worlds, the Brazilian team will be hot as they won the worlds at Cucco a decade ago.
Also the about 20 Norwegian guys in Lanzarote have been hit by some really strong wind and for that reagion cold weather. Well Im sure they are sweating, as it is much colder at their home. Would have been interesting to see the check-in guys faces at Oslo airport when they rocked up with 20 glider boxes ;)
At some stage, the weather must swing around and be really good for a comp, and I keep my fingers crossed for Matjaz and his Winter Race in Slovenia in a couple of weeks, even if I can´t come to compete. He just released a great little hang gliding film and linked it on his blog - also Regina is in the video that they shot just a few weeks ago.