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We have Gemma Weston, the Flyboard world champion on The Good News Channel today. I guess its not surprising as new technologies keep sprouting up, so do extreme sports. In Gemma’s case, more specifically, hydro-flight extreme water sports. Flyboarding has been around for a couple of years and has recently made its way to mainstream media. The Flyboard is a PWC (Personal Water Craft) accessory that once installed, allows a person to elevate up to 45 feet in the air using water jet propulsion technology.
In the last year we did a story on Andrew Cotton who surfed the biggest wave ever in Portugal of 2014, recently we did a story on Roberta Mancino who has taken base jumping and wing-suit flying to a whole new level, and today we have the privilege of featuring New Zealander, Gemma watson, one of the best flyboarders in the world.
Flyboard world cup in Dubai. You can see more of Gemma Weston on Instagram.
Just 3 months ago, I really knew nothing of flyboarding. Then I started noticing videos all over social media of this young woman doing miraculous stunts 40 feet above water like Aquaman or something, or Aquawoman I should say. Well that Aquawoman, was Gemma Weston. Friends, this girl’s got skills. Serious skills.
This is Gigi, one of Gemma’s dogs back home in New Zealand.
When one of Gemma’s videos first grazed my eye, I literally said to myself: “No way I just saw that” — Then I went back to watch her full 2 minute video and realized I did just see that. Basically, Flyboaring is a mixture of , skateboarding, surfing, skiing and flying in the air above water.
Video of Gemma Weston flyboarding in Dubai for World Cup 2015 — A Quick & Must See.
Hi friends. We are thrilled to feature Roberta Mancino on “The Good News Channel”
As you know we have been doing features on people and animals doing amazing things all of the world. Roberta is arguably one of the best skydivers, base jumpers and wing-suit flyers in the world. She’s racked up countless awards across all of those categories. I will list several of them later in this feature. We all have seen and heard of Skydiving and Base Jumping, but Wingsuit flying really made its way to the mainstream stage in just the last couple of years. I can say with confidence, Wingsuit flying is by far the most extreme sport on Earth. We want to give a shout out to Matt Meyerson who represents Roberta for being so accommodating with respect to this feature.
Just another day at the office for Roberta
Roberta Mancino was born in Italy about 25 miles south of Rome. She keeps herself in tip top shape for the extreme life she lives. She danced a lot in her life, she even was into kickboxing for 8 years, and she hits the gym frequently. Before flying and diving with animals, she did many other sports starting with classic ballet at the age of 4 and kick boxing and boxing at the age of 14. Roberta first started skydiving in 2000 at 19 years old. Her first base jump was in 2009.
Swimming with Crocodiles off the Coast of Mexico
As if that was not enough, Roberta is an avid scuba diver who frequently scuba dives with sharks and other marine life. All kinds of sharks; Tiger sharks, Hammerhead sharks, Whale sharks and etc. She also has an affection for stingrays and finds them very playful. Roberta has also spent time underwater with Manatee seals. The one encounter I saw that blew me away was when Roberta got up close and personal with a crocodile. She said, “Often times Predators are misunderstood. What looks like a monster can actually be harmless and gentle if you show them love” — You can see more of Roberta swimming with Crocodiles.
Flying between buildings in panama city photo by Noah Bahnson. Checkout Robert’s Website.
Roberta is very well known in the skydiving and Wing-Suit flying circles, but what catapulted her on the mainstream stage was her Wingsuit flight through two towers in Panama City, in December of 2015. This is when Sammy & Family first learned of Roberta Mancino. I remember seeing this young woman literally fly like a bird between two towers in Panama City and almost fell off my chair.
Selfie with my Gopro in Panama. Roberta is sponsored by Gopro. See more of Robert’s adventures on her Facebook Page
I started looking around my living room wondering if I actually just saw that, or if I was inside of some dream or something. So I started doing some research on this real life Super Hero to learn what she was all about. The more I read about her, the more I could not believe how Roberta literally lives life to a level I’ve never seen before.
photo by Shawn Heinrichs in between the whale sharks, Cebu Philippines. Checkout some of Robert’s best skydiving and scuba diving experiences on her; http://www.tsu.co/mancinoroberta
You might want to think of Roberta Mancino as a combination of a 21st Century Wonder Woman, a female version of James Bond and Indiana Jones. Here’s the thing about those comparisons, that still would not compare to the real life of Roberta. I mean after all, the characters I just mentioned are Actors and Actresses. Roberta Mancino is the Real Life version of all of them put together and more.
In Canada during the Gopro adventure camp. Roberta always makes time for animals and nature.
I will take it a step further, if the Hollywood studios that own the James Bond Franchise were smart, they would change “007’s” name to “00Mancino” starring Roberta Mancino — Think about it, the studios would Not even have to write the script because Roberta’s actual life is the script. Someone get Hollywood on the phone, Roberta Mancino will trounce the box offices bringing in billions of dollars worldwide in tickets sales. No question about it.
Selfie with my Gopro in Canada during Gopro adventure camp. More of Roberta on Facebook.
Roberta has done stunt work for movies like “Iron Man Three” and others, and television shows also. But for Pete’s sake, forget hiring her as a stunt woman, give her the leading role. Anyway, that is my two cents for Hollywood in regards to this larger than life young lady.
Bobby Brown commercial in Dubai photo by Noah Bahnson. Roberta is Sponsored by Gopro.
Lets talk statistics. Roberta Mancino has done almost 9,000 skydives and about 500 of those were Wingsuit dives. She has done about 450 BASE jumps and 300 of those were Wingsuit jumps. By the way, you did not misread that. She has done just about Nine Thousand Skydives. That number is staggering. Think about just hitting the “Enter” key on your keyboard 9000 times, that would be crazy right ? Well that’s how many times she has jumped out of small aircraft and helicopters, ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 feet high. All I can say to that is, Holy _hit. Pardon my French.
Picture During the Bobby Brown commercial in Dubai photo by Noah Bahnson
For those unfamiliar with what exactly Wingsuit flying is, this will help….. Wingsuit flying is the art of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit. It’s the closest thing to flying like a bird does. The Wingsuit shapes the body into an airfoil, which helps to create lift. A wingsuit can be flown from spots that provide enough altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points.
Roberta with her mom in Rome
Let’s take a closer look at what BASE Jumping is. BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span, and Earth; which are the objects that Base Jumpers jump from. So in essence, they jump from buildings, antenna towers, span, which is a term used for all kinds of bridges. The Earth part of the Acronym, “BASE” refers to mountains, cliffs, canyons and etc. Most base jumps take place below 800 feet. The average base jump is anywhere from 200 to 500 feet.
picture at the safari zoo photo by Jeb Corliss
This Video above is of Roberta Wing-suit flying through Panama City Skyline. Folks this is possibly the greatest Video of all time. #Yup
Roberta with her best friends who are incredible skydivers in Norway.
The more I learned about Roberta, the more impressed I became. In the midst of all these extreme sports she is involved in, whether in the air or the Ocean, she is a very grounded person. Her life philosophy is follow your dreams until they become true. It doesn’t happen overnight, you have to put in the work and be patient. Sammy & Family loves that message. Too often, we see all this glory in the media and forget the fact that 15 years of work went into perfecting these skills. And not just work, hard core training.
Photo by Max Haim at the rescue zoo in Dubai with baby lion. More of Roberta on Facebook.
Roberta also happens to be a Supermodel. She did her first modeling job at 16 years old. She been featured in Vouge Italy, Rolling Stone (Italy), Vanity Fair (Italy), New York Times (USA), Extreme SPort Magazine (Australia), Maxim (USA), Men’s Fitness (USA) and dozens of other shoots for print magazines. Roberta has done many commercials as well. From, Honda, to Hello Kitty international campaign, to Ducati Moto, Tittarelli Jewels and so on and so on.
Awesome picture of the Oceans surface seemingly connected to the sky. picture underwater in Tahiti Monrea.. photo by @mataiealifestyleon Instagram.
Although Roberta is a one of Italy’s top models, she promotes herself more as an extreme sports athlete. It’s not that she does not like to model, but it pails in comparison to jumping out of planes when skydiving, BASE jumping off mountains or Wingsuit jumps and flying like a bird. When you think of it in those terms, you can see how runway modeling might seem kind of flat.
Whale shark red dress photo by Kristian Schmidt in Cebu Philippines. Checkout Robert’s incredible pictures on Instagram
This photo shoot above with the Whale Shark is breathtaking. Its a stunning photograph. When “The Good News Channel” was deciding which pictures to use for this feature, it was overwhelming. I mean every picture was better than the next. We went through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of Roberta doing so many different activities that was hard to keep track. Fortunately, when we saw this picture with the whale shark, Roberta had commented that this had been one of her favorite pictures. So for us it was a No Brainer to use this one, lol.
A day of skydiving in Puerto Escondido photo by Klockner
Roberta was all smiles despite that she’ll be free falling from 10,000 to 15,000 feet in the air within moments. I guess its true what they say; “No Guts, No Glory.”
Skydiving in the clouds photo by Robert’s Gopro. More of Robert’a adventures on WEBSITE
This is a powerful picture of Roberta and friends skydiving above the clouds. Despite the extreme nature of these kinds of sports, she speaks about the Comradery that has developed between these professional thrill seekers. Roberta admits that most of her friends are men due to the risk of such extreme sports. And she hopes to come across more female skydivers and Base Jumpers in the future.
Picture in China during the world wing-suit league photo by Kristian Schmidt
When you are an Extreme Athlete, a Shark Diving enthusiast, a supermodel, and just a down to Earth really nice person, its no surprise to have crowds around you like this.
Picture by Dario Perroflauta wings for love competition in China. See more of Roberta on Facebook.
To us mortals this picture above of Roberta Wingsuit flying in China, seems unfathomable. It’s amazing to see how poised and composed she is while flying like a bird. I guess it’s like they say; “Experience is the best teacher.” And Roberta Mancino is as experienced as they come.
Quote from Roberta “Sometimes I just want to be in the ocean with those animals and feel thankful to be part of their day and happy to play with them.”
Here’s Roberta skydiving, cool as a cucumber. Here’s the literal definition of Skydiving; its a method of exiting an aircraft and returning to Earth with the aid of gravity, then slowing down during the last part of the descent by using a Parachute. See more of Roberta on Instagram.
Roberta with Manatee Seal in Florida. See more of Roberta on her Website.
This is a very touching picture of Roberta and a Manatee Seal. It shows friendship across specie lines. What a wonderful world it could be. Roberta says, “Beauty is in all living creatures.”
Friends, I will close with this. After doing my homework on Roberta and writing this story, let her be a reminder for us to live our lives. Not just exist simply because oxygen is still flowing through our bodies. But to engage in life and work at something you love. There is a famous expression many of us are familiar with; “When you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” — Roberta Mancino clearly lives by that expression.
This young woman at the age of 35 has lived more of a full life than 100 people put together. Roberta truly makes the world a better place with her kindness and passions. They say a cat has nine lives, well Roberta Mancino must have hundreds of lives then. I am truly inspired by this larger than life young woman. We hope all of our friends from around the world were inspired by this feature as well.
Representation; Matt Meyerson. You can find him on Twitter; @MattRPRT
Below is a list of some of the Championships and awards Roberta has won.
2003 Malevski Cup, Russia Freestyle and Space Games Freestyle, 1st
2005 Italian Record
2005 Euro Record
2007 European Record for Formation Freefly
2007 World Record for Formation 69-Way Freefly
2005 Italian Nationals of Skydiving, 1st
World Record 108-way freefly
2013 ProBase Worldcup, 2nd
Professional Extreme Athlete and Model
About 15 years of skydiving experience with 9000 skydives in locations all around the world.
For the past several years Roberta has been training extensively in the art of base jumping and wing-suit
ﬂying. Over 12 years of scuba diving experience, recently focusing on diving with the most dangerous sharks on earth. Over 8 years of full contact kickboxing experience. Professional model for the last 15 years.
Good evening friends. A great choice by many of you asking for the story about how I got into New York University with horrible grades in high school, and a low SAT score.
Let’s do a quick recap. Remember my father’s grading system, “F” was for Fun, “D” was for Dandy, “C” was for Courageous, “B” was for Bastard and “A” was for _ssholes. And this worked well for my confidence through Junior High. The problem was that my father died on February 3rd, 1984. This happened to have been my freshman year in High School.
My mistake in high school was maintaining my father’s unique grading system, especially being he was not there to back me up on it any longer. So between that confusion, and the chaos going on with my mother and 5 sisters when he actually died, school was the furthest thing from my mind. Things were really bad for the Smith Family back then, law suits were flying everywhere, dissension in the household, and just a lot of hostility.
I was fortunate to have met a very sweet girl in tenth grade. She’s the one my crew used to call “Sweetie”, and she was the one that almost blew up with me on the boat that my friends and I were on. Nonetheless, when I was with her, all my problems faded away. I was happy around her, and she took me away from all that chaos at home. But the relationship was skewed, we were in love with each other, but she came from a normal household with no chaos. So to her, I was just her boyfriend she was in love with. To me, she was my girlfriend that I was in love with, and also my escape from all the turmoil and chaos.
Until this day she probably never knew outside of being in love, what an important figure she was in my life as a whole. I was no ordinary teenager. I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and in my head, but just being with her removed all that in an instant. Temporarily of course, once I returned home, the _hit was hitting the fan again. Anyway, the point is I had two lives going on .
Moving on now through high school. Junior year and Senior year I didn’t give a _hit about school, and just wanted to be with my girl. Her father, who is a great man and until this day, I have great respect and affection for him, used to say, “Scott is way too intense for you. You’re too young for such intensity in your life.”. He was right. But my gal and I held the line anyway.
Now lets speed up to where everyone is applying to colleges in Senior year, and it was the topic of discussion every single day among the other kids. I saw many people running through the halls screaming with excitement about being accepted to this good school or that good school, and I had seen many people cry because they didn’t get in the colleges they wanted to attend.
Here is where my problem started. Number 1, no college was accepting me. Number 2, I didn’t even know how to fill out a college application. Now I was saying to myself, “Your dad’s grading system ain’t so good now, is it?” So, being my late father had been a very successful commercial real estate broker in NYC, colleges used to ask him to come speak and give lectures to students about the real world. One of the schools he regularly spoke at before he died was “CW Post” on Long Island where we lived. So my mother went to see the people that my father used to know there, and asked them as a favor to accept me into their college. And some of my late father’s former friends made that happen. I was admitted into CW Post on Long Island. It wasn’t a high ranking college, but it was a good college nonetheless and it has a beautiful campus.
CW Post had one caveat with me because of my disastrous high school career. They admitted me, but on probation. Meaning instead of being allowed to take 15 credits in a semester, they only let me take 9 credits to start. Now all of this ego blasting was starting to motivate me. So I took the three classes and got straight A’s through hard work. The next semester they let me take the full 15 credits, and I got straight A’s again with a 3.8 GPA. For the freshman year that was now over, I made Dean’s list. Now I was in the groove of things and for the first time in my life didn’t feel like a screw up, and that felt really good. Going on to the first semester of Sophomore year, I got straight A’s again with a 4.0 average. CW Post then approached me, and asked me to be the President of the Honor Society for the second semester in my sophomore year. Now I was giving speeches to hundreds of parents and high school students who were considering coming to CW Post.
So lets do the math. I went from starting on Probation at CW Post, to becoming their marketing spokesman to draw more students to CW Post. I felt really accomplished, I really did. So I decided to apply to the “Leonard Stern School of Business” at New York University for my Junior year, and I was accepted immediately. So I transferred to NYU. Now truth be told I still really didn’t care about school. I just wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t the bum everyone thought I was in high school. So now I am at NYU in one of the best business schools in the country, and I was majoring in accounting.
NYU was different than most colleges. There was no real college comradery. You see, unlike schools like Penn State or Notre Dame, where the colleges dominated the towns they were located in, NYC dominated New York University. Meaning this, when I walked out of class into the street, I was just amongst all kinds of New Yorkers, not just students. There were business people walking around, lawyers, doctors, business conventions going on, and so on and so on.
Anyway, let me speed it up here. I immediately joined a fraternity when I got to NYU in order to meet people. Because NYU was so dominated by NYC, I needed to connect with students somehow. When I joined the fraternity, they asked me if I wanted to live in the fraternity house with the main guys and I said “hell yeah”. Please don’t think of a fraternity at NYU like others, it was not. Greek / Fraternity life was very mild at NYU.
Within 2 months of my first semester at NYU, I was called into the Dean’s office for poor grades and not showing up for classes very much. When I went into the office, the dean was standing up looking out the window as I sat on his couch in the same room with him, waiting for him to say something to me. So after 5 minutes of his deducing what the real story is here, he turned to me and said, “You transferred here from CW Post from their honor society. Within your first two months here, your classes are going terribly, and I am told you hardly ever go to class and you are in one of the fraternities on campus. Is that correct Mr. Smith ?”. I said, “Yes sir that is the correct.”
So he looked at me in the eyes and said” Scott, are you some sort of playboy or something? Is that why you have been so distracted?”. So I said, “Mr. Dean”, or whatever his name was, “No, I am not a playboy. I have been in a relationship with the same young lady for 5 years”. Then he asked me how I would explain such a fall from grace, since I transferred to NYU as President of the Honor Society from CW Post?
So I hit him with hardcore honesty that I don’t think he ever heard before in his life. I told him how poorly I did in high school, and how terrible I felt during my senior year while all my friends were making plans for their new experiences going off to college, and I had no options. So when I applied myself and made Dean’s list for two years at CW Post, and then got into one of the best business schools in the country at New York University, I had achieved what i wanted. I wanted to know I was not a bum. Once i realized that, and that i was as capable as anyone else, I didn’t care about school or my grades anymore. I went on to being even more direct, and said politely, ” I am really not interested in the things this university is teaching me at all. I just want the degree from the Stern School of Business.”
My friends, the man almost fell over and had a heart attack. He had never heard that from a student before. He starting looking around his office, on the ceiling and on the floors just to verify he was not inside of a dream, or nightmare I should say. Now I am not encouraging that behavior for anyone. But i knew there was no law that said I have to care about college once I was accepted into college. And my friends, I didn’t care at all. But I did end up graduating with an accounting degree with an exact 2.0 average. Anything less than that GPA and they won’t allow students to graduate until they get a GPA of 2.0, or higher.
So my friends, that is how I went from horrible grades in high school, to one of the best business schools in the county, to being asked by the Dean of business if I was some sort of “playboy”. Looking back, I should have said to him, “No, I’m not a playboy, but I do like looking at women’s boobies.”
I Hope you enjoyed that story my friends. There are hundreds more to come over time.