By Cheryle RivasOctober 16, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. (Army News Service, Oct. 16, 2007) - The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, wrapped up national skydiving competition in Chicago at the 2007 USPA Nationals Sept. 18 with several "firsts" and a number of medals.
This was the first time the Golden Knights entered an exclusively female team in the Women's Division and the Soldiers finished first in individual accuracy, style and individual overall. Sgt. 1st Class Elisa Tennyson brought home three gold and one silver competing in style, accuracy and overall. Sgt. 1st Class Karen Morrison won two silver and one bronze. Sgt. 1st Class Angela Nichols won one silver and a bronze; and Staff Sgt. Norma Estrella took home a silver.
This was also the first time the Golden Knights had an entry in canopy piloting; and the first time for the men's 4-way team to combine with Fastrax's 4-way team to compete and win silver in 8-way competition. The win advances the teams to the World Meet next summer to represent the United States in France.
The Golden Knights' Black Team earned bronze with a 23-point average, following closely behind Fastrax Red with 24.4 points and Arizona Airspeed with 25.30 points. There was a total of 16 teams competing in the open division overall, with 15 in advanced and 27 in intermediate.
Team leader Sergeant 1st Class John Hoover rejoined the Golden Knights after completing his second deployment in Afghanistan. With only four months to prepare, the 4-way and 8-way teams pulled off a strong showing. Then the team packed their chutes for the 4th CISM Military World Games in Hyderabad India The Conseil International du Sport Militaire competition runs Oct. 14-22.
(Cheryle Rivas provides public affairs support to the U.S. Army Parachute Team.)