As the 2012 USPA National Skydiving Championships approaches, the Golden Knights are still training hard. In fact, the US Nationals are just about one week away. While the end goal of this year is the World Meet in December, the US Nationals are a crucial stepping stone on that path. The Golden Knights will represent the US Army in four different events; 4-way, 8-way, 10-way and 16-way Formation Skydiving. The focus, of course, is on the 4-way and 8-way competition.
GKF4 returned from the World Cup in Prostejov at the beginning of August and dove right back into training. They just passed 750 jumps for the year. At this point, the only other confirmed all female team to attend Nationals will be the Canadian team, Crimson Fox. The focus for GKF4 is to improve their position from the 2011 USPA Nationals. They placed 10 out of 16 teams in 2011.
Just down the hallway, GK-8 has been training hard. The US Nationals will be the first competition for them since the 2012 Paraclete XP Outdoor Skydiving Championship in DeLand, Florida, in which they took Gold. During the nearly 7 months of training, GK-8 jumped nearly 600 times, knit-picking each one to maximize the training value. One big highlight of Nationals for GK-8 will be competing against Russia’s Sky Panthers Barkli. Although Barkli will be considered a guest team and not directly face GK-8, the two teams will meet again in less than a month in Dubai.
The members of the Golden Knights Competition team will also pay respect to a fallen teammate. SSG Eric Holman, a former Golden Knight, was killed in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom on August 15, 2012. In tribute, the team wears the initials EH on their helmets, along with a white ribbon for awareness of the victims of terrorism.
This year the Nationals will take place at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, AZ. While Nationals begin on the 24th of October, the 4-way event starts on October 29th, followed by 8-way, 10-way and finished off with 16-way. To keep tabs on the competition and the positioning of GKF4 and GK-8, visit the Golden Knights (Facebook.com/USArmyGoldenKnights) or GKF4 (Facebook.com/USArmyGKF4) Facebook pages. You can also visit USPANationals.com.