INTERVIEW: French skydiving duo Karine Joly and Greg Crozier face fears through skydiving

Ghada Abdel-Kader, Sunday 7 Nov 2021

The world championship freeflying team made up of French duo of Karine Joly and Greg Crozier participated in last week’s international skydiving festival “Jump Like a Pharoah,” jumping over the Pyramids of Giza for the third time.

Karine Joly    Greg Crozier
Karine Joly and Greg Crozier from Team of Airwax Skydivers Free fly world champions from France pose for an image at the pyramids of Giza. (Copyrights Skydive Egypt/Photo by Ewan Cowie)

Freeflying is a variation on traditional skydiving that involves freefalling in various positions to increase speed or allow for different formations with other skydivers.

At last year’s festival, Crozier and Joly amazed the world by depicting the magic flying carpet of Aladdin during their jump. Crozier played the role of the carpet, with Joly standing on top of him.

This year, Croizer and Joly made a video documenting their full jump.

At this year’s festival, the duo were joined by special guests from France, two comedians – Paul Taylor and Verino – who came to Egypt to do their first tandem jumps over the pyramids.

“I made my first tandem jump when I was 18-years-old. I learned to solo jump when I was 23-years-old,” said Joly.

“I started to solo jump at 16-years-old. Static line jumps were the easiest way to start skydiving, but very scary. I wanted to do it. I was fond aerial scenes of skydiving in Hollywood movies,” Crozier added.

The duo, both 40-years-old, believe that skydiving is a unique sport that really is different from any other.

“When a parachutist learns skydiving, he has to overcome his fears and discover himself. He knows how to cheat death when he learns. It is very safe as sport,” Joly said.

“Skydiving is very beautiful sport for everything you get through and what you have learn. It is very intense sport. It requires full attention during flight,” she added.

“Everything shared within the skydiving community is really stronger than anything else he can do. I discovered how strong the skydiver community is,” she commented.

“It does not matter when you are foreigner when you meet other skydivers. You feel he is your brother or sister instantly. I love this very strong community,” Crozier added

Joly and Crozier used to have regular jobs, sometimes quitting them when they wanted to focus on the sport.

However, in 2015, both quit their jobs for good to become full-time skydivers. They now work as freeflying instructors all over the world. They also teach skydiving indoors using a recreational wind tunnel, which allows skydivers to experience the sensation of flight without planes or parachutes, in good weather or bad.

After deciding to compete in freeflying, Crozier and Joly founded their team AirWax Freefly in 2008. The members of the team also include two professional videographers, Baptiste Welsch and Ewan Cowie. Cowie has been working with the team since the beginning, while Welsch joined in the past five years.

Joly and Crozier made their first appearance at the 2009 French Championship, which they won. They would then go on to win the World Championship title 10 years later, in 2018. “It was very tense training for ten years, [with lots of] commitment and sacrifices,” Croizer commented.

“Joly and I do not train so much in any event. We just decide what we are going to do depending on the place. Anytime, anywhere, we can do anything,” he said.

The duo also participated in world-record breaking jump over Chicago in 2015 where 164 skydivers from 23 countries flying head-down produced the largest vertical skydiving formation.

Experience:

Greg Crozier: 8600 jumps
Karine Joly: 6600 jumps
Experience spanning 29 countries, 120 drop zones and 56 wind tunnels.

Honors and Awards:

National records-12 way head up
National records-18 way head down-2 points
World Champions 2018
FAI (International World Air Sports Federation) - two World Titles
13 Free fly Records
Four World Records 
Two European Records 
Seven National Records
14 National Titles
Four-times French Champion
Two-times Vice-Champion de France
Six-times French Cup winner
Two-times Vice-Champion de France Indoor
Two medal of honour, Ministry of Sports
Medal of honour, Youth and Sports

Joly and Crozier (Copyrights Skydive Egypt/Photo by Ewan Cowie)

(Copyrights Skydive Egypt/Photo by Ewan Cowie)

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