National skydiving champion eyes world title from Zephyrhills

An extreme-athlete from Zephyrhills brought home first place in a national skydiving competition.

Travis Mickle is one of the best wingsuit flyers in the world.

He and his team were awarded first place at the US Parachute Association's National Skydiving Championships in North Carolina. 

The 3-man team competed in the “acrobatic wingsuit flying” category.

”We're trying to be artistic and creative and make something beautiful the judges appreciate,” Mickle said. “It is kind of like dancing with a partner in the sky.

Mickle said the wingsuit lets fliers travel two or three times further horizontally than typical skydivers.

“It is everything your childhood imagined its soaring around the sky it’s incredible,” he said.

He gets in a lot of practice, jumping almost 900 times a year, often at Skydive City in his hometown of Zephyrhills.     

“I have been around it since I was 15 years old so it has always been the fun thing to do,” he said.

Up next for Mickle will be the World Championships in 2020 in Siberia, Russia.