We have a world champion at home, but few people know him. Christian Ciech, born in ’71, is the hang-glider who, in march, has beaten everyone in the World Championship in Mexico, in the Bravo valley.
Coming from Folgaria, in Trentino, he loves the Dolomites and he works building aircrafts.
Ciech, how did your passion for the flight born?
It’s my father fault, I would say. He began to fly in 1975 and when I was a kid in the weekends I used to go out with him. At that time it wasn’t a very common sport. Then, since I turned 16, I have never stopped flying.
And now you are a world champion?
It’s since 1995 that I have participated in this competition. This year I made it and I won, I felt complete. It was something that I was missing. Let me be clear, in this sector you don’t become famous… I celebrated with friends and relatives’ compliments!
How is a hang-glider competition organized?
There are two kind of competitions: acrobatic and cross country. I compete in the second one, where you have to travel a distance in the shortest possible time. The World Championships in Mexico consisted of 12 days of competition. Italy has also won the team competition and it has been a memorable result: any Nation has never won so much. It’s the fifth medal in a row.
How do you explain these successes?
In Italy there are Flying schools that are envied all over the world. Very well known is a school in Salò, directed by the master Ignazio Bernardi, there is also a good school in Monte Cucco in Umbria. Moreover we have beautiful landscapes where to fly, from the Dolomites to the Apennines.
Someone consider it an extreme experience. Is it really risky?
Of course, it’s a sport that has some risks but it’s safer than riding a motorbike on the street. One thing is certain: while you are flying you must trust only on your own abilities. That’s why a good preparation is needed. You must go to an approved and specialized school. The only advice that I can give is: don’t be impatience to fly. It is a sport about waits and patience.
How is this patience rewarded?
You really feel free, other disciplines can’t give you this. While flying you can admire landscapes from a different prospective. You are immerse in yourself, it’s a inner journey.
This year I will work hard on the Italian Championships (he already won this title 7 times). In two years from now there will be the Brazil World Championships and in 2016 the Europeans in Macedonia, this is a title that I miss…
Always Flying. Do you ever put your feet on the ground? Where do you go on vacation?
I love mountains and I recommend to everyone to immerse yourself in our Dolomites, they are definitely my passion. I like the sea too, even if a little less, especially some beaches in Sardinia and Liguria.
You have two children. Will they follow their grandfather and father’s footsteps?
I don’t know it yet. I won’t force them to fly but if they want to do it I will be happy.