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The only female Formation Skydiving competitor who has ever achieved winning both a 4-way (2008) and an 8-way gold medal (2004) is Eliana Rodriguez. On top of that, she also has a third gold medal in her collection from a third event. She won the first world championship title in 4-way Women in 2001.
OK, it is impossible for a male competitor to win a gold medal in this event, and there is no 4-way men's category, which eliminates the option that the boys can ever win three gold medals in three different events. Well, not true, as there is the 4-way VFS event since 2010, which offers a new opportunity. In fact, somebody could win four gold medals at FAI World Championships in Formation Skydiving now. Well, again not true - only a girl could do that; boys would still be limited to three gold medals (4-way Open, 4-way VFS, 8-way).
There could be a new Formation Skydiving Superwoman on the road to the same achievements. Jennifer Davidson got the first step out of the way when the Golden Knights won the FAI gold medals in 4-way Women at the Mondial 2016. This was the first step for Eliana Rodriguez as well, before she focused on 8-way.
Jen Davidson, who got married to 8-way world champion Matt Davidson last year, was recently selected for the U.S. Army's 8-way lineup. She will train and compete with six reigning 8-way world champions for the next two years, and her second gold medal in the next event is almost guaranteed in 2018 - if there is anything like a guarantee in any sport. This means that she could match Eliana's second part of the triple-gold journey even a year earlier.
Jen's team mates Dannielle Albright-Woosley and Laura Davis did not try out for the 8-way team, while JaNette Lefkowitz went back to her own team, SDC Rhythm XP. She also has her first gold medal in the bag but will not switch to 8-way. Her team has the 4-way gold medals in the open class as a goal.
It is a much more challenging task, as Rhythm first has to get past Arizona Airspeed next year to compete at the world meet in 2018. Then there is NMP PCH HayaBusa waiting for whoever comes from the United States...
Jen Davidson will most likely have her second gold medal in the bag at that time. She could continue and switch back to 4-way, which would be the start to the final part of Eliana's road. She could also have her husband Matt in the 4-way lineup and win her third gold medal together with him, just as Eliana and Craig did in 2008.
This would happen in 2020 at the earliest, which would still be within four years, three years faster than Eliana. Jen and Matt have already competed together in 4-way Open at the USPA Nationals 2016 and won the bronze medals. They also plan to continue casually with the same lineup. Trying to keep in 4-way shape while winning 8-way...?
It's not the end yet though. Yes, of course, Jen could also switch to 4-way VFS after winning in 2020 and become the first FS competitor with four gold medals in four events. But that's not what I am still looking at. There is also JaNette Lefkowitz on her own road: SDC Rhythm XP could win the USPA Nationals this year and beat HayaBusa in 2018. There she is with her two gold medals. Then she could switch to 8-way, as Rhythm has launched an 8-way team project, as well. She beats the Golden Knights in 8-way in 2019 and wins her third gold medal in 2020. Now Jen and JaNette are both tied with Eliana and would switch to VFS at the same time, together... ?
Now guess what, I am sure you saw this one coming: Yes, JaNette Lefkowitz also has her husband Steve back by her side after the excursion to 4-way Women, and they could travel the whole rest of the golden road together. Maybe this column's headline should be "Formation Skydiving Supercouples..."