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It was only the story that ended and has not been updated. This year's anniversary on March 14th is a special one though, and it is about time to update the NSL Profile. It is Craig Girad's 40-year anniversary on the day, and 13 years have gone by since the NSL News posted his profile story in 2008.
27 years in the sport was a long time in 2008, and seven FAI gold medals speak their own language. However, Craig Girard was far from being done or slowing down at that time. He has added another 5,000 jumps to his logbook and now stands at 31,000 still counting. He is married to Eliana Rodriguez and still lives a very happy skydiving life in Arizona.
Even the highly competitive part of his career was not over after winning his 7th FAI gold medal in 2008, together with Eliana Rodriguez, who became the first and only 4-way competitor in history with three FAI gold medals in three different events in Maubeuge 2008.
FAI World Meet 2010
|Rank||4-way Open Finalists||10,7,12||3,11,5||J,M,Q,P,L||19,1,13||N,18,20||K,17,8||2,15,H||4,D,6||O,E,9,G||22,B,16||Total||Avg|
|3||Sky Panthers Barkli||RU||19||21||56||21||19||21||23||22||41||21||264||26.4|
|4||NMP PCH HayaBusa||BE||21||21||55||20||17||20||23||22||36||18||253||25.3|
It was only an incredible Round 10 of the French national 4-way team that kept Airspeed Odyssey from winning again.
It was the same French lineup (Mathieu and Guillaume Bernier, Julien Degen, Jeremie Rollett, Olivier Henaff on camera) that had finished one point behind Airspeed Odyssey in Maubeuge 2008. Round 10 in Menzelinsk 2010 will stick in Craig Girard's mind forever, and his reactions resembled his complete personality structure.
Airspeed Odyssey had landed from their own Round 10 and were very happy with the performance. Then the French team won the last round by three points with an outstanding performance. There was not the slightest disappointment in Craig Girard's reaction after seeing the French video. He was highly impressed and instantly congratulated the French team for this performance from another planet.
Craig Girard does not seem to know negative emotions, as everybody knows who has crossed his path. There is always a silver lining for him in each life event, even in the apparently darker moments.
FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019
|2||SDC Rhythm XP||US||19||-1||22||25||21||-2||20||-1||20||23||25||29||-1||24||-2||228||22.8|
|5||Aerodyne Cypres Lille-Bondues||FR||15||-1||16||19||21||16||-1||17||18||22||25||21||190||19.0|
His appetite for his own FAI gold medals finally slowed down when Skydive Dubai recruited him and Eliana Rodriguez to develop Formation Skydiving competition in the very new area of the skydiving world on the Arabian Peninsula. The Dubai 4-way and 8-way teams became well known in the competition world and increased their performance level year by year with coaches Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard.
They lived in Dubai for six years, and Craig Girard was even inducted into USPA's Hall of Fame while he was working in Dubai. They moved back to Arizona in 2017 when the Formation Skydiving project in Dubai was discontinued at the highest point of the development.
As usual, Craig Girard was not disappointed when the Dubai project came to an end, even though he and Eliana Rodriguez had successfully put all their energy into the development of the teams and the sport. They simply made new plans how to continue with their passion.
International 4-way Championships 2020
|2||SDC Rhythm XP||51||-1||20||18||28||-1||45||23||23||20||26||22||-1||276||27.6|
|5||Jerry and the Jets||25||-2||14||12||20||25||13||-2||14||15||17||15||170||17.0|
|6||SDC RhEvolution XP||22||8||8||15||-1||20||10||-2||14||12||15||13||137||13.7|
Result of his work with the Russian 8-way team was first the silver medal at the FAI Outdoor World Meet 2018 in Australia, followed by the 1st place at the USPA Nationals 2019, where Russia defeated XP8 and Golden Knights on their home turf at Skydive Paraclete XP. A month later, Craig Girard guided the Russian 8-way team to the FAI gold medals at the FAI Outdoor World Cup 2019, still on U.S. turf at Skydive Arizona.
Eliana Rodriguez and Craig Girard both were not done at all with their own training and competition. In fact, they both competed at the same events and were in Airspeed's 8-way lineup. Airspeed Odyssey also had a 4-way reunion at the world cup and finished in the bronze medal position behind Arizona Airspeed and SDC Rhythm XP. Then they had their latest engagement as player-coaches for Jerry and the Jets, together with original Arizona Airspeed member Dan BC. Jerry Elliott had put the team together.
March 14th is a special day to celebrate the 40 years with Craig Girard in the skydiving world. It would be no big surprise if his thousands of friends and fans will follow up in ten years with a 50-year anniversary...