"There is nothing hidden from you and you are on top of things." - Dimitar Ralev
Mina: Do you remember your first paragliding flight? Where was it?
Dimitar: I flew a paraglider for the first time was after winning the open hang-gliding championship of Macedonia in Krusevo in 1990 or 1991.
Mina: When did you start paragliding? When did you start training for competitions?
Dimitar: I started competing with cross country and took part in the World Championship in Zillertal at the begging of the 90s.
Mina: Where did your love for paragliding come from? At which point did you know it was something you wanted to pursue?
Dimitar: I have always been fond of flying, started with hang gliding and parachute courses back in 1977, and been competing ever since 1980. Paragliding came as a natural progression of my flying and sports career.
Mina: How much time on average do you spend flying?
Dimitar: I have over 3000 flying hours and spend most of my days flying. So, a lot!
Mina: You are one of the best in your country. What is your training method for success? What can you recommend to people who are just starting out?
Dimitar: The more you train the better you get! It's all about the hard work and repetition! Train at different conditions, different places, the more you do of it the better!
Mina: Tell me about the wing you fly? How about harness and other gear?
Dimitar: My paraglider is the Gradient Bright 4 ans I use the Sky GII 2 harness.
Mina: What do you do when you're not flying?
Dimitar: Excitedly waiting for my next flight; or when I'm not flying I teach others how to fly! I am running my own paragliding and hang gliding club which bears a lot of responsibilities. I'm also working as a meteorologist! Keeping it busy!
Mina: Do you have any sponsors? Who are they?
Dimitar: Currently I don't have any sponsors, but am always on the look for some!
Mina: Beside being your favorite sport, what differentiates paragliding from other sports for you?
Dimitar: It's a sport just like any other! You could write a book on why it's a great sport, but at every sport there is something good so I don't think it's irrelevant to compare.
Mina: Would you encourage your children to try paragliding and support them if they showed interest?
Dimitar: Absolutely, but only in case if they want to!
Mina: What are your 3 favorite flying sites in the world?
Dimitar: It is quite complicated to choose three locations in the world. There are some wonderful places and I have way more than just three favorites.
Mina: What are your 3 favorite flying sites in your country?
Dimitar: Rasnik, Vitanovzi and Sopot in Bulgaria, as I fly the most at these locations.
Mina: Name 3 of your paragliding heroes:
Dimitar: Paragliding XC pilot Christian Maurer from Switzerland!
In our discipline, Paragliding Accuracy Landing, Slovenian pilots Matiaz Ferarich, Jaka Gorenc and Anton Svoljsak
Mina: Biggest challenge so far?
Dimitar: Every new competition is a challenge for me, it's always different so I take it all seriously.
Mina: The most beautiful thing about flying?
Dimitar: It's an incredible feeling, being able to take off, see the world from a different angle, there is nothing hidden from you and you are on top of things.
Mina: What are your goals for the future?
Dimitar: To become an olympic champion… A world one as well!
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