Conquering the deep blue yonder: Płock student beats all in heady world of para-motoring
Meet Wojtek Bógdał, a 25-year-old student from Płock, who has taken the skies by storm, becoming twice world champion, double European champion and three times the champion of Poland in powered paragliding.
Now the young star of airborne sports is preparing for a new season, which surprisingly doesn’t include any major tournaments, only air shows and special projects to popularise the sport.
Powered paragliding, also known as para-motoring is a sport, where the pilot soars through the air with a motor attached to his back. The engine creates enough thrust to take off and use the paraglider to stay airborne.
Bógdał, whose surname means ‘god given’, had an early start at para-motoring. On his official website, he wrote: “I have been involved with aviation since the third year of my life thanks to my father, who just then began his adventures with flying and is still professionally involved in photography and filming from the air.
“From an early age, I accompanied him in all take offs and landings. I helped to unfold the wing and prepare the equipment before the flight. I struggled with a small kite, and when I was stronger it was the turn of the real paraglider wing.”
Wojtek’s first moments in the air were in tandem with his father, but since then has become a force to reckon with all on his own, winning the first golden medal at the European Para-motor Slalom Championship 2014 in France.
Thinking about the future, he said: “Today I can confidently say that in the sport I have achieved everything: the championship of Poland, Europe and the World, and a world games gold.
“What's next? I think I will continue racing. I am a factory pilot for Dudek Paragliders. Testing prototype wings is also a fascinating adventure. In addition, I show visitors around the sky, because with two people flying, the pleasure multiplies.”
For this season, since there are no championships in the World Air Sports Federation calendar, he will only participate in Polish competitions and air shows.