Five minutes with Toms Ivans: the FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving winner who taught Tom Cruise to fly!
Latvian athlete Toms Ivans claimed the gold medal in the Solo Freestyle event at last month’s FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving in Bahrain.
“Just being there was amazing,” said the modest Indoor Skydiving star, before crediting his wife Veronika – also an Indoor Skydiver – with the ideas behind his winning routine.
“I’m lucky because my wife was there to support me all the way through,” said Ivans, 26. “She’s the creative one with the great ideas.”
Ivans, who discovered Indoor Skydiving three years ago after spending several years flying in outdoor wind tunnels, also believes his outdoor experience helped him to stand out from the crowd.
“Training a lot in outdoor tunnels makes a difference to your style,” he added. "All the competitors were amazing, so maybe that’s why the judges chose me on the day.”
When not competing, Ivans lives in Riga, Latvia and is an instructor working in both indoor and outdoor wind tunnels around the world.
As part of his job, the former chef works with the film industry, teaching A-listers such as Jackie Chan and Tom Cruise how to fly.
“Tom Cruise was really keen on flying so I spent more than a year working with him,” Ivans said.
“He had the biggest outdoor tunnel ever built made for one scene in the latest Mission Impossible film. It was twice the size of a normal outdoor tunnel and flying in it was amazing!”
Film stars are not Ivans’ favourite flying buddies, though. “My favourite thing about Indoor Skydiving is that there are no limits on who can fly,” he said.
“Anyone can do it, including young children, and it’s wonderful being able to share my passion with my two kids. My three-year-old daughter loves it and flying with her makes me really happy!”
Watch Ivans' winning routine!
Photo credits: Gravity Indoor Skydiving