The Wittenburg children reached new heights in the indoor skydiving world this spring.
The elite indoor skydivers from Naperville, Kayleigh, 15, and Noah, 12, won gold in recently at the third Federation Aeronautique Internationale World Indoor Skydiving Championship in Lille, France. The duo, who have been competing against adults for several years, are champions in the Dynamic 2-Way.
“This is the biggest achievement in our sport, like the Super Bowl,” said father Mike Wittenburg, who also coaches his children. They are the youngest champions to win a dynamic event.
Competing against flyers twice their age has its drawbacks. There’s no time for celebrating
After winning in France on Saturday, April 20, the kids were back in Naperville for school Monday.
Kayleigh is wrapping up her freshman year at Naperville Central High School and Noah is a seventh-grader at Lincoln Junior High.
Because it’s only the third time the biennial FAI championship has been held, only six people in the world have earned gold in Dynamic 2-Way, “and we are two of them,” Kayleigh said.
“It feels really good,” she said. “We set a goal and reached it.”
Noah is equally excited for their win.
“For sure all the hard work we put in paid off,” he said. “Obviously the next thing is to do it again.”
Kayleigh said heading to France nine days early proved advantageous because it gave them extra practice time in a skydiving chamber that was 2 feet bigger than their wind tunnel at iFLY Naperville.
“It makes a big difference,” Noah said.
Although they’re ages 15 and 12, the brother and sister are indoor skydiving veterans.
Kayleigh has been flying since she was 6 years old, and Noah shortly after that.
Their dad, who is a professional sky diver and owns a local lawn care company, taught the kids how to fly when he was an instructor and coach at Inflight Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
When the family returned to Naperville, they were able to keep practicing at the iFLY on the north side of town.
In their down time, the brother and sister said they like to hang out with their friends.
They also coach and instruct at the flight school and will host a summer skydiving camp with their dad. It’s already sold out for 2019.
Kayleigh plans to save up her money from teaching and coaching to buy a car when she gets her driver’s license in a year. In between practices this week, she was studying to take the test for her learner’s permit.
Noah is just saving his earnings. “I’m only 12, so I don’t have anything I want to get yet,” he said.
The two said they also use a portion to fund their trips to various competitions around the world.
Besides flying with her brother, Kayleigh also competes in solo freestyle in the junior category. She won gold in Bahrain last year in October.
Noah’s other sports are football and basketball.
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