... that things changed pretty quickly for Valerie Bisson - didn't they??
posted Jul 15th, 2014 -
17 years young: Benoit Lemay for Canada at the World Meet 2008
The Canadian indoor family team 4Astrophe, with original Evolution member and father Richard Bisson, his 13-year old son Yannick and 17-year old daughter Valerie, has caught the attention of the Sun Path Products NSL News several times after competing for the first time at the Canadian indoor championships of 2013 at SkyVenture Montreal.
The amazing story has recently become even more fascinating, as the Canadian national 4-way team Fuzion invited Valerie Bisson to take the open tail slot. Valerie Bisson will now compete for Canada at the World Championship of Formation Skydiving 2014 in the Czech Republic.
Evolution tail Benoit Lemay was the youngest Canadian 4-way competitor so far when he attended the World Meet 2008 in Maubeuge with 17 years of age. Valerie Bisson will start the competition with the same age and turn 18 while she competes with Fuzion in Prostejov.
|Canadian Indoor 2014||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Round 8||Total||Avg|
Fuzion with Kassandra Gagnon at the 4th DIPC 2013
Fuzion's tail slot became available when Kassandra Gagnon left the team at the end of May this year. Fuzion had a great start into the 2014 season with a 23.6 average at the Canadian Indoor Skydiving Championship 2014
, and the personnel change caught the team by surprise.
Fuzion member Marie-Eve Dallaire said that her team was in "rescue and solution mode" and did not allow themselves to become demoralized. The Fuzion 3-way made a list of candidates and eventually contacted Valerie Bisson to ask for test flying sessions and of her motivation to join the team. Fuzion did not know exactly at that point in time whether the team would still compete at the world meet or not.
Marie-Eve Dallaire knew Valerie Bisson from her time with 4Astrophe at SkyVenture Montreal. The Fuzion topic was not new to them, as they had discussed the team's desire to have an alternate before, during and after competing at the World Challenge 2014. However, Valerie Bisson had a total of 26 skydives by then, and it seemed to be at least questionable how she would perform with the Canadian national 4-way team in freefall.
4Astrophe at the World Challenge 2014
Valerie Bisson said that she was first shocked when Marie-Eve Dallaire called to ask her for a test flying with the team at SkyVenture Montreal after Kassandra Gagnon had decided not to continue with the team: "I wasn't expecting to start trainning with Fuzion before the World Championships at all, but that situation changed everything. I said yes immediately!"
She drove to Parachute Montreal next morning for training jumps with Fuzion, and the team finally committed to the lineup and the trip to Prostejov.
Fuzion had to change the training plan and begin with a slower pace. However, Marie-Eve Dallaire said that this allowed all team members to review the basics. One result of the adjusted training plan were smaller formations than before, which the team members see as a good improvement.
|4th DIPC 2013||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7||Rd. 8||Rd. 9||Rd. 10||Total||Avg|
|1||Aerodyne French Girls (FR)||17||20||24||22 ||26 ||19||18||19||18||26||209||20.9|
|1||SDC Rhythm XP (US)||19||19||26||22 ||25 ||17||17||21||18||25||209||20.9|
|3||Dubai Asaar Ladies (AE)||13||14||18||17 ||17 ||10||12||14||12||17||144||14.4|
|4||Fuzion (CA)||10||11||17||17 ||16 ||13||11||12||13||17||137||13.7|
First tandem jump: 10 years of age
Valerie Bisson sees the situation as an exciting opportunity for herself: "I do realize the challenge is very big, but I'm approaching it as positively as I can. It is a very good opportunity for me having this 3 on 1 accelerated coaching with such talented athletes!"
She is also fully aware of the challenges that are coming along with such a golden opportunity: "Being only a tunnel competitor so far, this is a challenge for me, because I not only have to remember my new position, I also have to learn the plane exits, fly with the rigs and the canopy piloting."
However, she can count on a lot of good advice in her environment: "Fortunately, I'm surrounded by a lot of people who do everything they can to help me and Fuzion with our progression: the Parachute Montreal employees, my family, my team mates - they're all there to help me whenever I need them."
"...very efficient with everything she was attempting..."
Her father Richard Bisson remembers Valerie's first tunnel flying in Orlando in December 2005 when she was 9 years of age: "She only did 2 minutes back then. However, she loved the experience, and when the Montreal tunnel opened, she started training more often with me and her brother Yannick."
Yannick Bisson was still very light and did not want to fly with high wind speed that much by then. Richard Bisson ended up flying a lot of 1-on-1 with daughter Valerie and remembers that she quickly became very efficient with everything she was attempting.
The 4Astrophe family project with brother Yannick then started in December 2012, with the first indoor competition following in March 2013. At that time, Valerie Bisson was old enough to start skydiving in Canada. However, the family decided to wait until she would have recovered from a knee injury that she had suffered in figure skating.
Flips, barrel rolls and knee flying during AFF training...
It was August 2013, right before her 17th birthday, when she finally made her first AFF jumps. Father Richard Bisson had taken her on three tandem jumps before that when she was 10, 14 and 15 years. He now sees the main performance enhancer in her 12 hours of tunnel time. He remembers the amazing start of her skydiving career:
"It was quite funny to realize that she had done all the freefall levels in the first jump, and that she was doing flips and barrel rolls in her second jump, then knee flying in her third jump. At least, I could still show her plane exits and important canopy skills...!"
Valerie Bisson's first contact with Fuzion happened early this year, as Richard Bisson explained: "One day, in one of our 4Astrophe training sessions, Marie-Eve Dallaire came to tell me that she has been watching Valerie's progression very closely. She had reviewed many of our team training videos and asked me if Valerie would want to try flying with Fuzion at one of the "Night at the tunnel" Fuzion fund raisers."
Fuzion team mates: Marie-Eve Dallaire - Valerie Bisson
He witnessed the first flying sessions and was very impressed how his daughter kept up with the Fuzion team speed. The team was just as impressed, especially as it was the first time for Valerie Bisson performing AAA Class slot switchers during the flying session.
Valerie Bisson and Marie-Eve Dallaire connected even more when the Fuzion member joined 4Astrophe for the trip to Bedford and the World Challenge 2014. That's when they discussed the idea of an alternate for Fuzion for the first time. Richard Bisson said that Marie-Eve Dallaire used the opportunity to further evaluate Valerie's skills and behavior and then reported to her team after coming back to from Bedford.
Fuzion member Valerie Bisson now thinks like a true competitor: "We don't have a lot of training together as a team. Of course, we are all worried because we only have five weeks remaining before the competition, and that doesn't give us a lot of training time." Father Richard Bisson supports Valerie's extremely quick progression: "I guess things change pretty quickly - don't they...!"
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