Hall of Fame Awards Announced

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The International Skydiving Hall of Fame is thrilled to announce this year’s Hall of Fame Inductees and Excellence Awards, all of whom have played a major role in the advancement of our sport.

Omar Alhegelan, Hall of Fame inductee 2021
Image by Juan Mayer

Hall of Fame Inductees 2021

  • Omar Algehelan – Saudi Arabia
  • Ian Bobo – USA
  • Lesley Gale – Scotland
  • Patrice Girardin – France
  • Roger Nelson- USA

Awards

  • Path of Excellence Award – Arizona Airspeed
  • Pioneers of Excellence – Para Gear
Early days on Arizona Airspeed

Path of Excellence – Arizona Airspeed

Arizona Airspeed receive the Path of Excellence Award for significant contributions of enduring high value to the world of skydiving.

In 1994, Jack Jefferies, Mark Kirkby, Kirk Verner, Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld and John Lemming started a team that has become synonymous with excellence in formation skydiving for more than 25 years.

Arizona Airspeed has embraced a champion’s attitude and the result of this mentality has inspired countless skydivers to be like Arizona Airspeed whether it be in how they train or how they treat others. Little surprise that four of Airspeed’s team members have been inducted into the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame.

  • Kirk Verner- 2020
  • Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld – 2014
  • Jack Jefferies – 2013
  • Craig Girard – 2012

Para Gear Stand, PIA Symposium

Pioneers of Excellence – Para Gear

The Pioneers of Excellence Award recognizes skydiving entities that contributed to the sport from the 1970s and before, for their significant contributions of enduring high value to the world of skydiving. The International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame is proud to announce Para Gear as this year’s recipient of this prestigious recognition.

Para Gear Equipment Co. Inc. was founded in 1960 by Lowell Bachman. He was born and raised in Chicago and at the age of 20 entered the military. Lowell was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and later on transferred to the Special Forces. While still in the Army Reserves Lowell Started Para Gear. The original location was a 4,000 square foot building, divided in half, situated near the intersection of Foster Ave and Broadway Ave in Chicago, Illinois. Back in the Prohibition era, mid-1930s, the building was used as a Speakeasy called the Nights of Paris. It was operated by the Purple Gang out of Detroit Michigan, and the building was also used for Bootlegging. After that, it changed names to the Cuckoo Club which for many years was a legitimate bar, and later still became the Drift Inn.

When the building was purchased Para Gear occupied one half or two thousand square feet which it began remodeling to its needs. The biggest challenge was to fill up all of the bullet holes in the building, walls, ceiling, floor, and roof from its colorful past. In the mid-sixties, Para Gear expanded to the other half of the building making it 4,000 square feet. In 1974, Para Gear moved to its current location in Illinois, which is 17,000 square feet.

With additional purchases, Para Gear now occupies an additional 6,000 square foot warehouse for backup inventory. Para Gear has grown well beyond its humble beginnings and to date has sold to customers in over 125 countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. Para Gear also publishes the largest skydiving catalog in the world, which is currently numbered at 200 pages. Founder Lowell Bachman was inducted into the International Skydiving Hall of Fame in 2010. Today the family legacy continues with Curt Bachman at the helm.


Hall of Fame Celebration 2019

Hall of Fame Celebration

Award winners and inductees will be formally recognized at the Hall of Fame Celebration Event scheduled for October 7th – 9th in Perris, California. This will be a double celebration, as the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees will be recognised too, because the 2020 event was postponed.

Hall of Fame Awards 2020

Inductees

  • Bruno Brokken
  • Faye Cox
  • Chris Gay
  • Russ Gunby
  • Larry Hill
  • Xiaoli Lai
  • Jeanni McCombs
  • Michael McGowan
  • Paul Rafferty
  • Kirk Verner
  • Bruce Wicks

Path of Excellence 2020

  • Path of Excellence Award – 400-way World Team members

The Path of Excellence award for the 400-way participants, camera team and crew will be presented during the 2022 Hall of Fame celebrations, which are at Deland, 5-7 October 2022. It’s going to be one heck of a party! πŸ˜‰

Information supplied by the International Skydiving Museum. For more information see the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame website.

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