As the 2014 U.S. Skydiving National Championships come to a close, the Golden Knights will be returning to Fort Bragg, N.C. with a few more medals to add to their trophy case. The Golden Knights won Bronze in 4-way open and Gold in 4-way female, 8-way open, 10-way speed, 16-way, and 4-way VFS advanced. The total medal count for this year’s Championships was 58, with 52 being gold, and 6 being bronze. The 8-way team had a stellar performance in which they set a new 8-Way World Record by scoring the most points ever in a single competition with 237 points. This topped the previous record of 229 points which the Golden Knights also held. They also remain the reigning Overall Formation Skydiving Champions for the fourth year in a row. It was a bitter sweet victory though as the 8-way team says goodbye to SFC Mike LaRoche. SFC LaRoche finishes his competitive career on the Golden Knights as an 18-time National Champion, 2-time World Champion, and a World Cup Champion. He will be leaving the Golden Knight family after being accepted to the Army’s Physician Assistant Program. SFC LaRoche leaves us on a high note, he has gained the respect, admiration, and gratitude of the American public and his teammates.
The U.S. Army Parachute Team, Golden Knight Female 4-way Team (GKF4),have already brought home a total of eighteen medals from the 2014 World Championship in Czech Republic and the 2014 USPA Nationals at Skydive Chicago.
The GKF4 had a fight to the finish in round 10, but took home the Bronze in the 4-way FS Open category. They stole the Gold for Women’s 4-way FS Open category and set a national and Illinois state record for most points in a round by an all women 4-way FS in an Open category with 29 points. The previous record was 28 set by GKF4 last year at USPA Nationals (Skydive Chicago.)
These dynamical ladies are whirling through the world like a class four tornado (a growing force not to be reckoned with.)
The GKF4 and US Women’s Team is comprised of Team Leader and veteran competitor Sergeant 1st Class Angela Nichols, who did a phenomenal job mentoring her teammates, Sergeant 1st Class Dannielle Woosley, Sergeant 1st Class Laura Dickmeyer and Sergeant 1st Class Jennifer Davidson and videographer Sergeant 1st Class Scott Janise.
Continue to follow the Golden Knights and help us by sharing our story and wishing the best to our amazing GKF4 Team. They have traversed across the world to Solo, Indonesia to represent the Soldiers and US in the Military Parachuting Championships
Gold Team spent the weekend in the great state of Pennsylvania where they were able to perform for Bell Vernon High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The team worked with local recruiters, as well as the schools academic professionals, to carry out two great shows. Before the game began on Friday, a few members of the Gold Demonstration Team linked up with the recruiters at Bell Vernon to give the High School students a little taste of what it is like to be in the Army. The team spent a few hours answering questions about Army life and what it takes to serve this great Country.
On Friday evening, the team departed for the airfield in preparation for the jump into the High School. Bell Vernon brought the Golden Knights in to start off their football game for the evening. The team performed a mass and followed up the show by tandem jumping Mrs. Shara Zupanc, one of the teachers at the school, with Tandem instructor SFC Joe Jones. The students loved the show.
Saturday proved just as eventful, as the weather brought in low clouds and rain. The team had the privilege of jumping into Indiana University of Pennsylvania to start off their football game. Due to the low clouds, the team performed a stack-out maneuver. This is when all the members of the team jump from alternating doors with a 3-5 second pause between jumpers, until the whole team exits the plane. The black and gold canopies stood out very bright against the dark rain clouds. The show turned out perfect despite the weather. Upon landing, the jumpers met up with the local recruiters and packed their parachutes.
This weekend was spent with some of Pennsylvania’s greatest students and athletes. We wish both teams the best of luck in this football season!! Until next time, blue skies!