We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney Kennett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sydney, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.

Lots of things make me happy – friends, animals, nature, riding my dirt bike at the track (I love jumping and being in the air hah) and on the trail, skiing, but one really important thing that makes me happy is Indoor skydiving. The feeling of flight is one of the most amazing experiences that one could ever imagine. When I step in the wind, I feel free. It’s like the movie the Matrix and I can fly in 3 dimensions in any direction I want with all of my friends – there is just nothing like it. I smile every time I get in the tunnel. Indoor skydiving has also taken me to so many amazing places around the world. For example, in 2019, I went to Lille, France, for the World Indoor Skydiving Championship- where I places 3rd in the World for Jr. Freestyle!. And just a month earlier, I had gone to Empuriabrava in Spain for my first international competition- The Wind Games. Along my journey through the sport, I’ve met so many incredible people. I have many followers on social media that I have also coached and mentored (I am the world’s youngest certified coach!).
Some of these people live in the same state, and others live on the other side of the world. I’ve had so many amazing experiences and opportunities during the time I’ve spent within the sport. It brings me so much happiness when I’m in the tunnel, and I cant wait to see what the future brings!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My sport is very unique, most people do not even know it is a sport. But it is! I have trained hard for the last 6 years. And it has paid off. I homeschooled for 3 years to help free up time for training and travelling. I have been the Jr. Freestyle National Champion since 2017 (since I was 11!). One thing I’m very proud about was being able to represent the U.S in the 2019 World Indoor Skydiving Championship. I was the youngest competitor out of everyone and I was able to place third for my category! I also had the highest difficulty score of any freestyle competitor at the event including newly created tricks that no one had ever done in the history of the sport. It wasn’t easy getting to where I am today. Also in 2019, I won the biggest competition in the world, Wind Games in Spain for Jr. Freestyle. That was one of my proudest moments. I had to figure out a balance of school, sports, and friends. I still work really hard every day with stretching, training, working out, and everything else going on. My parents had to work super hard as well. My mom is my coach, so that was very difficult because we had to figure out how to communicate with each other as a coach-trainee relationship instead of a mother-daughter one. My dad has also worked super hard as a supporter and coach as well, he knows so much about the sport as he used to be a skydiver for many years. When I first started flying he worked extra jobs to help me move up the ranks. I’ve learned so many lessons along the way most importantly, you do you. Don’t let other people bring you down just because you’re being yourself and it’s okay not to fit in because that’s what makes life fun! It has definitely been interesting being one of the most recognized indoor fliers in the world because with all of the positive feedback that comes, there was also some negative comments too. I can’t imagine how super famous people manage that, but got a glimpse into that world and it really taught me to just be me and be happy with me. I’ve now been in over 75 media appearances and articles and I feel very lucky to have learned how to carry myself as a professional. It wasn’t easy because I was very young when that all started. I feel truly blessed for these opportunities and humbled by all of the support. One of the other crazy facts is that iFLY Denver is an older tunnel, one of the first ever built, a 12 foot octagon. All competition tunnels are 14 foot circles so it has always been a challenge to compete and compete well at competition tunnels. While 2 feet doesnt seem like much, it is night and day in reality. Most of my competitors train in 14 foot tunnels regularly. I get to fly in one maybe once or twice a year. What I am very excited about is that three retired air force generals are building a 14 foot competition tunnel in Colorado Springs right across the street from the air force academy which is going to open at the end of this year so I will finally be able to train in a full size tunnel in my home state of Colorado. I’m really hoping to represent iFLY Colorado Springs as a professional coach and flying organizer for years to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely love to show them around Union Station in Denver. During Christmas time they put up this amazing super tall tree and lots of decorations. It creates a really cozy environment even though the station is pretty large. There’s a tasty ice cream shop inside of the station that me and my family always stop at when we are there, and a good coffee shop as well. I would stop at the LIttle Owl coffee shop to introduce them to the best espresso shot in the world. I would also take them to one of my favorite restaurants, Safta. They serve middle eastern cuisine and everyone is super friendly! The soft-cooked egg hummus is one of my favorite things on their menu! I would definitely recommend Safta to anyone traveling to Denver! I would also take them flying in the windtunnel at iFL:Y and on my favorite dirt bike trails in Colorado but that isn’t really in the city (-:

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to thank all the people that have made my Indoor Skydiving possible- especially my parents, Michelle & Andrew. They have been there for me as my coaches and biggest supporters since the beginning. I would also like to thank my sister Ryan, as she has been a great friend throughout my journey. I look up to her very much. I would like to give a big thanks to my friends, thank you for always being there for me! I have had a few coaches along the way that have left big impressions- Mike Silva, Preston Drake, Mike Bohn, Leo Volkov. My sponsors have also played a big roll in my training- thank you iFLY, DEEM, Cookie Helmets. I also love that Sportswomen of Colorado is so supportive and recognizes all the great accomplishments of girls and their accomplishments in Colorado!

Website: www.tunnelgirl.co

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tunnelgirl24_sydney/

Twitter: @tunnelgirl24

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydneykennett/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RqUu7FMGG8

Other: I have been very blessed to work with one of the sports most well known and creative minds, Michael Ross Cunningham on videos that introduced concepts that no one had ever seen. I am so proud of this work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ps2vboevXs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV_S23ZuzMM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ28WtBrupk

Image Credits
Doug Wilson Ej Carr Michelle Kennett Andrew Kennett Credit Belarusian Federation of Air Sports Michael Ross Cunningham All picture files are labeled with credits.

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