The SIS Olympics at CSC!
People | Aug 07, 2022
The SIS Olympics at CSC!

Chazi Rutz and Julie Kleinwort

Above: Natalie Rodriguez smiles for the camera during a 3-way skydive with Gretchen Vandervort (left) and Kelsey Rose.

Photos by Mark Kirschenbaum/Hypoxic

Julie Kleinwort and Amanda Elkin organized the SIS Olympics, a Sisters in Skydiving event, June 3-5 at Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois. This is the fourth year the dynamic duo has co-organized a SIS event at CSC. A stellar group of load organizers—Becky Johns, Kelsey Rose and Chazi Rutz, along with Elkin and Kleinwort—kept participants in the air all weekend. Female participants received sweet coaching, a boogie bag, an event T-shirt, a chance at prizes and dinner on Friday and Saturday night. The event provided learning and growth for newer women jumpers, and its inclusive and low-stress environment helped the participants build self-esteem.

Friday’s check-in day allowed for DZ briefings and a few jumps. Saturday morning kicked off with a meet-and-greet and went right into a 3-way formation skydiving competition. The randomly selected teams flew one round, and the competitors scored themselves during a weather hold later in the day. The winning team got first pick of base layers donated by the Kari Traa clothing company, created by a fellow female skydiver and former Olympian (how fitting). 

Julie Kleinwort (left) initiates Alyshia Bustos into the Pink Mafia Sisterhood with the traditional Barbie jump.

Jumping went until sunset Saturday evening­—perfect timing to change into Olympic-athlete attire for a cocktail hour sponsored by NZ Aerosports, followed by dinner and prize giveaways. A post-dinner group picture got everyone out of their seats and ready to participate in a six-person-team relay race. Teams selected four members to pass a flag in an over-under fashion. Once across the floor, they tagged two members to run a three-legged race. The finale comprised of two members performing a wheelbarrow race to the finish line. Winning teams celebrated while being awarded medals. The night rounded out with some pretty sweet karaoke and a DJ dance party.

Sunday morning started with the traditional Load Onesie, nearly a full load of SIS ladies wearing onesies for their first jump of the day. Later, Christine Hart made her 200th jump by way of a belly zoo dive, which went according to plan. Women learned about the importance of tracking, landing patterns, diving the plan and camera awareness during the event. 

Mark Kirschenbaum of Hypoxic captured sky and ground moments on camera for the women. Gift certificates and swag from Advanced Aerospace Designs, Aerodyne Research, Cookie Helmets, Deem Flywear, Firebird, Flight-1, Fluid Wings, Icarus World, KMRS Products, Larsen & Brusgaard, Performance Designs, SSK Industries, Sun Path Products, Tonfly, TonySuits, United Parachute Technologies, Velocity Sports Equipment and Vertical Suits supported the event.

Chazi Rutz | D-28539
Eloy, Arizona 

Julie Kleinwort | C-42777
Chandler, Arizona

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