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Thu, Jan 27, 2011

U.S. Army Golden Knights Compete In Dubai

And One Brings Home Gold From Dubai Cup Despite Controversy

Two competitors from the US Army Parachute team, SFC Greg Windmiller and SFC Elisa Tennyson represented the Golden Knights and the United States as members of Team USA in the second Dubai Cup, organized by Emirates Aviation Association and Skydive Dubai.

SFC Tennyson, the current and 8 time US National women’s accuracy champion competed in a field of 49 women in precision accuracy. The objective of the competition is to land on a target equal to the size of a nickel which is only 2 centimeters in diameter. With the tiny yellow dot as the target, SFC Tennyson scored a perfect dead center landing on her first jump, and was in the 4th position. She was set up to take an overall medal with only one more jump to go, as one of the competitors that was in front of her had a less than stellar jump, but with only a few jumpers to go to complete the competition, the remaining jumpers were unexpectedly cancelled, and the previous round was thrown out leaving SFC Tennyson in 4th place.

SFC Windmiller is the current and 2 time US National champion in canopy piloting Speed, as well as the current world record holder and ranked 2nd in the United States in Canopy piloting. Representing the Golden Knights and the US in his discipline, he was among 3 US competitors that made up the official US delegation in canopy piloting. There were a total of 90 competitors representing 23 countries in Canopy piloting, a discipline which consists of 3 separate events, speed distance and accuracy.


Golden Knight SFC Greg Windmiller U.S. Army Photo

The Distance event was the first event to complete as Windmiller took top honors and won the Gold. The last day of competition and the completion of the meet ended in a strange twist of events, just as it had happened to SFC Tennyson earlier in the day, SFC Windmiller made his last jump in the Accuracy event count as it was near perfect, moving him from the 6th place to 1st in that discipline, earning him the Gold medal and moving him to 3rd overall winning the Bronze in the individual overall category. With no one left remaining to jump able to pass his overall score and locking up 3 gold medals and 1 bronze for the US Team, the unexpected and unexplainable happened. The meet director stopped the remaining 15-20 competitors from jumping which would have only taken approximately 20-30 more minutes to complete and declared the previous 70 jumps invalid, ending the competition. The decision to stop the competition was confusing to say the least and caused quite a bit of controversy.

When asked about the decision to make the circling aircraft land and “throw out” the previous jumpers scores SFC Windmiller said “As a competitor I understand that things happen that are uncontrollable. It is the nature of competition and every now and again you are the proverbial windshield, but being a competitor, I don’t feel as though I can complain or have the right to be upset because, if my performance had been better in the beginning I would have been in the lead the whole time and had nothing to lose. I am just proud to have the opportunity to compete and represent my country, my military, and as a member of the Golden Knights. If I were to consider myself a leader, then I have to lead by example and this means to win with pride and humility and to accept defeat with the same pride and humility. I personally don’t consider winning 2 Gold medals loosing, but as a member of the Golden Knights I am expected to perform and win, besides 2 medals are always better than none.”  


Golden Knight SFC Greg Windmiller U.S. Army Photo

The US was one of 41 countries to compete in this invitational parachuting competition. Collectively there were over 419 competitors, battling it out for medals trophies and over $240,000 in total cash prizes. SFC Windmiller also won $5,000.00 which was left for the organizer to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project on the Golden Knights behalf.

FMI: http://armygk.com

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