Ski instructor, professional runner and paragliding World Champion. Aaron Durogati, from Merano in South Tyrol, is only 29 years old but he is already recognized as one of the most “extreme” athletes in the international scene.
In 2013 he participated in one of the most extreme competition, the “Red Bull X-Alps”: over a thousand kilometers to be done with the paragliding and walking, on the Alps, from Salzburg to Montecarlo.
In July starts the new edition and Durogati will be the only Italian athlete: "I go in order to win!"
Aaron, paragliding is apparently an unusual sport: how have you started?
It has been a natural choice. My father was a pilot and as a kid I used to go with him on his flights. I remember admiring the take offs and the landings. When I was 6 years old I have done my first flight in tandem. I felt in love. Ten years after, as soon as possible, I got my pilot’s license.
Is it easy or hard to fly in Italy? What is the situation as far as schools and structures?
Our country is famous all around the world and it is suitable for paragliding. In the North it’s easier because there are a lot of ski’s cableways and more cable cars with whom it is possible to reach the areas for the “take off”. Val di Fassa, for example, from September is crowded of pylots from all over Europe, but also Val Gardena and the mountains around Bassano del Grappa.
So, in the south it’s impossible to fly?
No. Absolutely. It is just a different natural environment. This doesn’t prevent to pilots to find excellent schools. World Championships have been held at Poggio Bustone, near Rieti, and other important competitions at Norma, near Latina.
Let’s stick on the competitions. In July starts the “Red Bull X-Alps”, you will be the only Italian in the competition. Any goals?
I go in order to win. The X-Alps is one of the toughest race in the world, to be integrally done flying and running. It goes thought the Austrian, the Switzerland, the Italian and the French Alps. Always keeping an elevated level. I have already participated to the 2013 edition, I ranked 7th (32 total participants). The training for this kind of competition lasts 2 or 3 years.
Where do you train?
I run everyday through the paths around Merano. Every while and then I go abroad to study new itinerary and launching points.
It is more about sacrifices or satisfactions?
I live everyday realizing my dream of flying. There is no sacrifice. This is why I consider myself very lucky.
To those kids who want to approach to paragliding, what kind of advice would you give them?
First of all it is a discipline that I recommend to everybody. Because everybody can fly, it is not impossible at all. The first step is to do a flight in tandem with a professional teacher, Italy is full of schools and places where it is possible to do this experience. Then if you like it, the training for the license begins. The flight is safe, it’s not an extreme sport if you practice it in a professional way.
Let’s talk about vacations. What do you like to do?
Vacations? My life is a vacation. Everywhere I go I take with me the equipment for running, skiing or flying. I live thanks to my passion.