Sydney Kennett steps into the wind tunnel, she adjusts her helmet, reaches her arms out and begins to tip forward.
As the wind reaches 50, 60, then 70 mph, she leans in further until, finally, it lifts her off the ground.
Before long, the wind is at 120 mph and Sydney is flying through the air, flipping upside down and twisting as she adjusts to the space.
Sydney, a 15-year-old professional indoor skydiver from Parker, is training for the world cup in her sport, which will take place April 5-10 in Belgium. It’s only the fourth ever world competition for the relatively new sport, and, already, it’s Sydney’s second time attending as a junior.
“It’s kind of like gymnastics in the air,” Sydney said from the iFly indoor skydiving facility in Lone Tree March 21.
During her routines, Sydney does flips, splits, twists, stationary poses and more inside tunnels that usually span about 12 feet wide and 45 feet high.
“Some people have called her a hummingbird,” said Michelle Kennett, Sydney’s mom. “Because of how finely detailed she is and how she can fly so close to the wall but not hit it.”
While the sport includes multiple disciplines, Sydney mostly competes in the freestyle division, where she’s required to complete both free routines, where she decides on her own tricks, and compulsory routines, where she’s required to incorporate certain moves. The free routines last about a minute and 30 seconds and the compulsory routines are about 45 seconds.
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