A video of a daredevil model gliding gracefully through the air over Panama City’s illuminated skyline has gone viral. Roberta Mancino – an Italian model who has graced the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Maxim – took to the Panamanian sky at night in a wingsuit.
The GoPro video which captures her daring feat was published on YouTube last week on 17 December. The video, which shows the international model and experienced skydiver, BASE jumper, and wingsuit flyer, soaring through the night sky, has amassed some 340,000 views.
Another video showing the model wingsuit jumping over Panama City in the day, has had 433,000 views.
Mancino wrote on her Facebook last week: “It took a long time for this video of Panama to come out! Finally i was able to see the final product of 2 years of work to make this dream come true.”
Named the World’s Sexist Female Athlete in 2010 by the magazine Men’s Fitness, the 35-year-old model leaps from a helicopter and hurtles towards the ground at speed amid the city’s skyscrapers. The model, however, takes it all in her stride as she skilfully maneuvers herself between the buildings. Gliding over the city’s coastal beltway, the Cinta Costera, she then uses her parachute to land gracefully.
Like a boss…
“If you are going to fly with your Wingsuit in between buildings make sure that there is not so much wind. The turbulence can be crazy! But if you decide to do it because it is the only day that you can, than you better fly like little boss,” Mancino wrote in another post.
The model has completed 7,000 skydives, achieving numerous awards and world records. In 2004, she won the skydiving Tunnel Competition in Orlando, Florida, and in 2007, she broke a skydiving world record.
Mancino is not the only thrill-seeker to leap out over Panama City’s skyline. In October a pair of daredevils also flew over city in wingsuits.
Other wingsuit flying feats in Latin America include Chilean Sebastian Alvarez bursting through the national flag at the side of a mountain, and in 2013, three extreme athletes Jokke Sommer, Espen Fadnes and Ludo Woerth jumping with wingsuits beneath Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue.
Wingsuit flying – or wingsuiting as it also known – involves wearing a wingsuit and either jumping from a helicopter or plane, like skydiving, or jumping from a fixed object, like BASE jumping. The wingsuit increases lift and allows the wearer to glide through the air at high speed before deploying a parachute prior to landing.
Wingsuit flying, BASE jumping and skydiving are some of the world’s most dangerous sports, and have claimed the lives of several extreme sport enthusiasts over the years.
In July, for example, the 32-year-old man known as Colombia’s ‘birdman’ died during a skydiving accident in Switzerland. Jhonathan Flórez, an avid BASE jumper, skydiver and wingsuit flyer, plummeted to his death in July when his parachute failed to open.
In the same month, U.S. citizen 36-year-old Fernando Gonçalves, an experienced wingsuit flyer and skydiver, died in a wingsuit accident in Rio de Janeiro.
Despite the high risk involved with the sports, for thrill-seekers like Mancino, the allure of the sky always wins.
One of Mancino’s favourite quotes, according to Italian Vogue, is by Leonardo Da Vinci. “Once you’ve learned to fly, you will begin walking on the ground watching the sky because that’s where you’ve been and that’s where you want to return.”
You might also like: