Wingsuit Progression Series
A series covering WS skydiving, from your FFC through Exits, Skydiving with Others & Safety, by Matt Gerdes & Taya Weiss...
16-year old Kyra Poh has been competing in Indoor Skydiving for seven years already, in freestyle, 4-way FS, Dynamic, VFS and Speed. She has won competitions in every single one! Meet the amazingly talented, humble, driven athlete – KYRA!
Hey Kyra, what do you do for a living, or are you still at school?
Hey! :) I am still currently in school.
How old are you? What nationality, and where do you live?
I am 16 this year, I live in Singapore and I am a Singaporean.
When did you start flying?
So…. I started in December 2011, so that would be almost 7 years already so that’s like almost half my life!
How many tunnel hours?
Around 300 I think
List your tunnel competitions, with discipline and results
Okay here is all of them since the start!
2012 - World Championships Singapore
2014 - Bedford World Challenge
2015 - Bedford World Challenge
2015 - Clash of the Champions Dubai
2016 - Bedford World Challenge
2016 - Australian Indoor Skydiving Championships
2016 - Poland World Cup of Indoor Skydiving
2017 - Wind Games in Empuriabrava
2017 - Australia Indoor Skydiving Championships
2017 - Montreal World Championships of Indoor Skydiving
2017 - Bahrain Flight Fighters
2018 - Clash of the Lyons
2018 - Wind Games in Empuriabrava
2018 - Sakura Cup Invitational Competition in Japan
That’s one heck of a long list! What makes you so driven to do all those different areas and meets?
Well, I try to push myself to try most of the different disciplines as I feel that I can learn something from each discipline. It also makes me love the sport even more! I get bored pretty easily to be honest ;P, so competing in multiple disciplines makes me fly and train more, and makes me go out of my comfort zone. Also it's weird but I like the stress that comes with taking part in multiple disciplines in a competition.
it's weird but I like the stress that comes with taking part in multiple disciplines in a competition
What do you like about each discipline, do you have a favorite?
Well, firstly my favourites would be freestyle and 2-way dynamic of course :))
For freestyle I love it as I get to experiment in the tunnel and being able to create new moves and tricks is awesome. And to keep inventing moves grows the sport even more. But I also love Dynamic as I enjoy team events and SPEED ROUNDS, and it’s what I started with, since the start I have been doing 2-way. Sometimes flying solo gets a bit lonely (HAH) thus flying with my partner Yi Xuan makes competing more fun as we are doing it together.
Who have been your favorite coaches and why?
I don’t have a main coach, but I think my Mum knows my flying the best and – even though she can’t fly… at all – she knows exactly how to help me :) Coaches from around the world come in to Singapore to coach us and we also go overseas. I don’t have a preference for coaches as I feel that each one can teach me something new :)
Have you seen more of the world through traveling to competitions, do you think this prepares you better for life?
YES, YES, YES! One of my favourite things about competing professionally is that I get to travel the world and make friends. It’s crazy as I have friends all over the world and I think it’s really cool as wherever I travel I know I have friends there :) Indoor Skydiving has given me so many opportunities to see and explore the world.
What has competing at such a high level taught you?
It has taught me so much….. like determination, focus, and sportsmanship. Representing my country at such a young age has taught me hardship and all those kind of values that make a good sportsperson. When I was young, I used to be upset when I didn’t get my way, but this sport made me grow up and become a better person I feel :)
this sport made me grow up and become a better person I feel
Also, it has taught me to have determination, like in the Sakura Cup, when we were scored lower than everyone expected for our free routine, we had to keep flying better and better and not let the results affect us, even if it was so hard. I think indoor skydiving has really shaped me into who I am, and without flying, I might be much worse – HAHAH!
What’s your ultimate goal?
To get the sport to the Olympics for sure! Also in Singapore, Indoor Skydiving is not recognised as a sport, even when we are pushing for it to be:/ so I hope that this would change:)
What do you think about the possibility of indoor skydiving making it into the Olympics?
YES for sure. I think especially the European countries are really helping to grow this sport in the right direction and I hope one day I will represent my country in the Olympics.
Would you be prouder to compete, and of any medals, if Indoor Skydiving was an Olympic sport?
Being able to compete would be a great accomplishment already and to represent Singapore for a sport that I love is awesome, but as athletes we don’t just enter a competition to get a bad placing, we train and aim high to win and try our best, so I would definitely try my best and see what happens ;)
It amazes the world how a whole Singapore delegation arrives at each meet, with multiple athletes, and an entourage of supporters. Does this help you as Singapore athletes?
Yes for sure, because we are all so close, it makes competitions more fun and the support helps a lot. Not only do we have supporters, with are surrounded by people whom we love. And actually, we are one of the only countries that all the athletes at the moment competing are all under 17!
Tell me about the community at iFly Singapore
In Singapore, even though the community is small, it's very supportive. When we go for competitions, they would create a group chat and everyone would be sending us pictures of them watching the livestream and cheering us on – which is super cool as even when they at work, they would watch us fly. I think that it would be great if more people would join and grow our community together too :)
Do you help grow the flying community there?
For me, I often help the younger generation, so like all the kids in Singapore that fly, if they need help, I coach them and help them form parts of their routines for competition. I feel that this is my way of giving back to our community after they have done so much for us:)
Do you have a favorite competition moment?
Well I have a few ;) Firstly I think it would be in Montreal for the World Championships in the semi-finals when we beat the French Bros in speed 😂 (sorry boys!). Because in the previous year 2016 World Cup, the top 4 was us, Vipers, the French Bros and Suisse One. So we placed 4th and we were determined to do better the next year. And in 2017, it was the same line up, us, Vipers, the French Bros and Suisse One so we were so determined to prove to ourselves that we could make it to the finals this time, and we did. Honestly getting into the finals felt like we already won and we were so happy – AHH.
Other moments are the waiting between competition rounds. Some people may think that waiting around for your turn to fly is very long and boring, but I actually find it very fun as I only get time to see all my friends at competitions and during rounds we get to catch up and hang while waiting for our turn to fly.
Tell us a quirky fact about yourself
In the tunnel, I people say I fly gracefully, precisely and they think I am dancer, but in fact, I totally suck at dancing, and I am the world’s most clumsiest person 😂 I even trip over my own foot sometimes – HAHA!
Describe yourself in 5 words or less
Whom do you admire, who are your mentors and why?
I admire my mom the most:) as I feel that even though she doesn’t fly, she knows exactly how to correct me and push me into being the best flyer I can be. She has also been supporting me since the start and she is a role model for me as an athlete and as a whole person in general.
Do you have a motto, or favorite quotation?
One day you're gonna be dead much longer than you are alive. So while you can, live life to the fullest.
What does WCIS2018 mean to you, and how are you going to prepare?
Well, this is the first time I’m competing in the open category for an FAI competition as the past two years I was in Junior. However, this year I would like to challenge myself and take part in Freestyle Open :) …thus I will definitely try my hardest to train and come up with something cool :)
There is a large cash purse prize, does that make a difference?
I think it does make a difference to me, as in Singapore, we do not have much support from the country for monetary or financial help, thus cash prizes will definitely help out, but I will just aim to do my very best. It is not an extra motivation as I think all athletes already try their hardest!
Anything you would like to say Kyra?
I just want to thank my tunnel and country, iFly Singapore for giving me this opportunity as their support has gotten me this far and without the CEO, Lawrence, believing in me, I would never have gotten into this sport which I love so much:)
What’s next, what are you most excited about?
I’m going to take my Skydiving course in Voss, Norway. This is my dream to be able to jump out of a plane and skydive – ever since I tried a tandem when I was 12. For the course I would have to be 16 so I will be starting my AFF course exactly on my birthday in June… My family is very supportive in my dreams, even though my dad is really scared for me 😂 but learning to skydive is what I am most excited for in 2018. As well as the WCIS in Bahrain!!
UPDATE! Kyra just made her first skydives so we asked her about them ….
How was your first skydive Kyra?
My first skydive was amazing! It’s incredible, really and the view in Norway is so beautiful, with the mountains and rivers. And because we wore a open face – it’s been super long since I wore a open faced helmet!!
And of course skydiving really is much easier if you fly in the tunnel! It almost feels like home ;) (the tunnel)
What was the biggest surprise about skydiving outdoors?
I think my biggest surprise was was how fun it was! The adrenaline is crazy and plus the beautiful view, it was breathtaking!
Also, I actually fractured my rib on my 16th jump, so I did not get my A license, but it will make me stronger and I would want to jump even more!
How many jumps do you have now and which was the best?
16 jumps in total! My 13th jump was the most fun :) … trying new freestyle moves, and landing on my feet for the first time.
Do you have any plans for more skydiving, if so, what?
I would want to jump for for sure, 50 more, 100 more even thousands ;) … and I hope to compete in the sky one day!