Roberta Mancino – What A Fly Girl

Roberta Mancino

Italian Roberta Mancino was born 1980 in Anzio, a small city from the coast south of Rome. She perfectly combines the beauty (Modeling) and the beast (Skydiving). Some weeks ago she was voted sexiest woman by Men’s Fitness sexiest woman in sports. About her modeling job, she doesn’t speak much and Skydiving is still her first priority in life. With over 6,000 skydives logged she’s also the Italian national freestyle champion and the free fly record holder and further she holds a black belt in full contact kickboxing. However, we catched up with her while she just finished a photo shoot with italian Vogue …

How did you come into the world of Skydiving?
One of my best friends was a skydiver and he told me about it, so I went to the drop zone and I did my 1st static line jump by myself. I hadn’t never done any tandem, so it was kind of crazy being alone in the sky for the 1st time :)

Does every jump go that smoothly? What’s the worst thing you remember while Skydiving?
In 6000 jumps of course something will happen … I had to land with two parachutes one time, I forgot to pull the 1st one and I was very low so the security system opened my reserve too. To ride with two parachutes is very dangerous, because the canopies can go around each other and collapse. Another scary thing is when I crashed on the wing of the plane just after the exit in freefall after a few seconds.

Well, this will be for sure the most asked question all-time … Once you did a jump for the Men’s Fitness magazine shoot, naked. Was it your idea? And how did you feel the wind against your body with a jumpsuit?
I didn’t do a naked jump for men’s fitness. it was for another magazine actually my picture for the men’s fitness contest was with a jumpsuit that you couldn’t see my body, I never thought I would win the contest with that …
The naked pictures are from another magazine and only did the naked jump because the magazine paid me well. It was mine and the magazine’s idea … the naked jump is just like any other jump just cold and kind of painful when I had to pull my parachute, but in freefall the feeling was nice like air massage :)

I heard that first you start with yoga and then move onto the more adrenalin-packed workout to train your body. How many hours do you train? Do you train daily and can you combine workouts of other sports you do?
I do yoga sometimes, but I go to the Gym most of the time and I do a lot of cardio and some weights. I’ve been doing a bit of trapeze as well. I´ve been dancing a lot in my life and training kickboxing and boxing for 8 years before skydiving. The best training for skydiving is the wind tunnel.

Does this mental and physical training help you out with your modeling?
I don’t think so, modeling can be a very boring job most of the time …

Talking about the beautiful daredevil. How did you come into the world of modeling? What was your first shoot and how did you feel?
I was 16 and it was just a coincidence, because I and my family met a guy in my town and he had a little modeling agency. and so I did my 1st cover for a photographer’s magazine. I felt it was kind of funny to see my face at the shop. I was so young and I can remember I took the picture to my school and all my friends laughed about it.

Mamma mia, Reggae music and Rome. Two things that go well together. Do you have some other combinations describing yourself like that?
I think that is just perfect:)

BASE Jumpers like your friend Jeb Corliss are always looking for new spots to jump from. As a Skydiver are you also looking for new locations? Or is that something that doesn’t matter to you as Skydiver? And talking about your BASE Jumper career, what would be the hottest spot you want to pin down?
For me now it’s all about base jumping more than skydiving, maybe because it’s a new thing for me I only have 77 base jumps and I’ve been skydiving everywhere. I also feel that the wingsuit base jumping is the evolution of our sport and I can feel close to my dream of flying. Nothing compares to the feeling like flying wingsuit base jumping. The hottest spot for me will be the Burj in Dubai,  the highest building in the world.

Quoting Tiziano Terzani, a italian journalist: “If you have the choice of taking two buses, one going uphill and the other going downhill, take the one going up, its more fun.” What kind of quote would describe your life best?
Living the dreams …

What’s your goal for 2011?
Base jumping wingsuit proximity flying from many cliffs in Europe and finding a sponsor for the following project of getting back inside the airplane: A person needs thousands of skydives to even begin to think about training for a project of this nature. The training will take hundreds of skydives flying with the plane and practicing with the pilot. It’s been done before but never in this way and never from a woman. I will step out of an aircraft, go into freefall and get back into the same aircraft that I jumped from. The aircraft will go into a head down dive from 14,000 ft and I will jump out of the plane and instantly go into a head down dive reaching speeds in excess of 180mph. I will catch up to the plane and climb back in. This will take thousands of feet to accomplish … I will have no wingsuit just jumpsuit and the airplane will be without pilot chute to slow down.

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The pictures of roberta flying are from Noah Bahnson and all the modeling pictures are from Marco Glaviano.