Abdulla Hany Ballan Alraeesi was born on 1 September 2021 and is 31 years old. He works in the Special Forces Department for the Ministry of Defence and also represents the Qatar National Skydiving Team since 2014 and he is supported by the Qatar Air Sports Committee which has had a huge influence on him. He has a Diploma in Airports Management and absolutely loves skydiving.
Abdulla just got back from the 2021 FAI World Parachuting Championships - Tanay Mondial 2020 where he won a gold medal for his 4-way rotation canopy formation.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team is bringing you an exclusive Q&A with Abdulla, a father of four, who is looking forward to taking the gold again in the next world cup competition in Arizona.
Abdulla: I feel so proud because I did what it takes to win the gold, and it's the world Mondial gold medal, so being the best in the world is fabulous.
Abdulla: As part of the Qatar national skydiving team, I won:
Abdulla: I was a football player with the Qatar Stars League, but back in 2013, there were just six professional players for each club, so the chance of playing as a national player was not so easy. I decided to join the skydiving team after advice from my friends. I loved skydiving because it’s something unique and I was really good at it, so the national team coaches picked me after one year of practising.
Abdulla: Of course it's a big honour to represent your country in any sport especially in the world of skydiving because we are showing that Qatar participates in all sports and is a strong participant.
Abdulla: The challenges faced by a professional skydiver are that you have to practice a lot and make a lot of jumps. We have to stay out of the country for training camps, so being far away from home is the hardest challenge that we have.
Abdulla: I love playing padel.
Abdulla: Cristiano Ronaldo.
Abdulla: The Tanay Mondial event is my favourite because I won the gold medal. I had been trying to get the gold for the last six years, and finally, I have it.
Abdulla: People should know that it's safe, fun and you will never forget the experience.
Abdulla: Staying calm, having patience and staying in shape because you have to be athletic to become a professional skydiver.
Abdulla: My father. Watching him at work along with his history in sports makes me feel like I have to be better and more successful because he has always supported me in every sport that I have played.
Abdulla: Sports is a big thing in the family; my father was an international referee and my grandfather was representing the Qatar National Football Team, so I had to be involved in sports. I started with the Springboard Diving National Team and participated in the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha. Then I joined the Qatar Club Football Team and was there till 2014 after which I took up skydiving and became a professional skydiver.
Abdulla: Some of the people who supported me are the Joint Special Forces Commander and Chairman of Qatar Air Sports Committee Major General Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Fateis Al-Marri, Vice Chairman of Qatar Air Sports Committee Abdullah Hamad Al-Athbah and Member of Qatar Air Sports Committee Mohammed Yousef Al Sulaiti. They have helped me become who I am today!
Abdulla: Staying at the top is always harder than getting to it. So, I have to keep skydiving, participating and winning whatever I can for my country.
Abdulla: Being a world champion.
Abdulla: Going to any competition and not being ready. It feels bad when you know that you can be great, but without enough jumping practice, you cannot be ready.
Abdulla: Switching from football to skydiving.
Abdulla: A hard worker who always stays positive.
Abdulla: The team spirit! We are like one soul and one family.
Abdulla: Actually there are no secrets. If you want to be a champion you have to work hard, practice a lot and have the will to succeed and win.
Abdulla: Continue skydiving for the country and maybe become an instructor or a coach.
Abdullah: They should be smart, athletic and have focus.
Abdulla: Football, swimming, playing padel and video games like FIFA.
Abdulla: United States.
Abdulla: Arabic food.
Abdulla: I get stressed easily.
Abdulla: You only live once.
Abdulla: Please skydive. You will never forget how it feels, you will enjoy it because it's a really nice experience. Being a champion is not that easy; we work hard, we leave home and our families and friends. So, you have to sacrifice a lot to be on the top.
Cover image credit: Qatar Air Sports Committee
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