Kelowna paraglider eyes world championship
26-year-old Daniel Vallejo is a daredevil of sorts - his sport of choice is accuracy paragliding.
That's where you glide off a mountain and try to land on a target. It's basically a game of darts on a massive scale.
The Colombia native first fell in love with the sport nearly 20 years ago, when he watched his dad paraglide. Since then, Vallejo has climbed to the ranks to become 2nd in Canada, and 519th in the world.
"It's a good feeling... it's a rush," says Vallejo. "When you're flying, you forget about your bills, your work, about everything. I get the chance to control what I'm flying and feel free."
He moved to Kelowna earlier this year, and has been taking advantage of the mountainous terrain found in the province.
"When I have a day or two off, I usually go to Lumby," says Vallejo. "I get the cargo up the mountain, then I take off and go straight to the landing - that's how I practice."
Now he has his sights set on the World Championships in Serbia next May.
"The best of the best are going to be there," he says. "You need to be ranked between 1 and 500 to qualify."
To get there, he hopes to compete in a handful of international competitions to improve his ranking. He's set up a gofundme page to cover the costs of his travel and training.
If he does well in Serbia, he could qualify for the 2020 World Air Games in Turkey.
One day he hopes the sport will be in the Olympics, but he admits that it could be tricky.
"The main reason why it's not in the Olympics is because we depend 100 percent on the wind conditions. When we take off on the mountain, we need to have safe wind, or zero wind."