November 18, 2018
Chicago in November doesn’t appeal to most, but when you mention a competition to tunnel flyers, exceptions can be made. The Rosemont Rumble that occurred on November 17th, 2018, at iFLY Rosemont, created a warm place in everyone hearts, due mostly to the family-friendly vibe that dominated the event. Regardless of the weather, competitors came ready with speed, grace, and style to show off to the local crowd, judges, and viewers watching the live stream from home.
The iFLY Rosemont staff, led by Jessica Fultz and Hector Quintero, made competitors feel welcomed and helped smoothly run the event- a component that, undoubtedly, added to the success of the competition. The Rosemont Rumble was a single-day event, which definitely made for a long day, as it spanned over 12 hours, not including the ceremony. This caused some tired eyes and some stop-and-go moments, but it allowed the teams to cheer on their friends and fellow competitors throughout the day, which is an important element of any competition. Thankfully, Rosemont’s very own instructor Ben Shafer, took on record-spinning duties and kept the long day moving with great music and a lively vibe. Once all of the festivities were finished, the Rosemont staff were able to have the tunnel back to normal in less than an hour and ready for first-time customers.
The live stream broadcast was handled by a company called Floodstream and allowed people at home to watch the competition in real time, and with commentary by Waz Choudry and BaVani Selvarajah. These two passionate podcast hosts interviewed everyone (or so it felt like) and gave over 300 shoutouts- all while providing colorful commentary on the day’s events. Highlights from the broadcast include interviews with competition university iFLY Denver staff and students, and Flight School students Alex Finch from iFLY Tampa & Jill Knutson from iFLY Westchester.
In total, 39 competitors, comprising of 21 teams, from nine tunnels, and at least seven states, created one very memorable day for all. In the end, the winner's podium saw women in full force, with seven women across five disciplines taking home Gold. Showing a growing trend of female flyers entering the dynamic arena, which will make for some much-needed variety in such a male-dominated discipline.
The ceremony created many great photo-worthy moments captured by Leah Crubel Photography. Parents of competitors gathering and laughing over drinks and sharing stories became some of the best moments captured on film. Finishing the Rosemont Rumble on this high note saw many smiles, quite a lot of hugs, and cemented another IBA event as being able to bring together, not just competitors, but flying families from all across the U.S.