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Mika Sol – Defending Qatar Airways GKA Freestyle-Kite World Champion

Published 30th January 2023 by Andrea Susanne Opielka

 

Photos at Fuwairit Kite Beach by Svetlana Romantsova

2022 was a big year for the 18 year-old who further proved her competitive dominance by taking her fifth world freestyle title as well as her first big air World Championship. Now set on further broadening her approach to the sport, Mika has her sights firmly set on achieving at least ten world titles in her career. The first event of a new season presents the first opportunity to bring those goals a step closer. She’s buckling up for a very busy year.

We caught up with her ahead of the first event of 2023, the Visit Qatar Freestyle-Kite World Cup at Fuwairit Kite Beach in Qatar, which begins Tuesday 31st January

How do you sum up 2022?
2022 was definitely a wild ride as I not only got my fifth, but also my sixth world title. So definitely a memorable year, but also getting into the big air side of kiting was fun and opened my eyes to a new side of the sport.

How did the feeling of winning your sixth world title compare to the others? Which ones have been the hardest or meant the most?
It’s kinda hard to describe because winning my sixth worth title doesn’t feel so different to winning my fifth or my fourth, or even my third. I feel like my first two titles really stood out. The first one proved to myself that I could it and the second one showed that I could do it again; that it wasn’t a one off. Those first two were really special.

How do you feel going into the new season after just a short break?
After the comp in Brazil at the end of last season I took a break from freestyle and focussed more on big air. I didn’t take a break from kiting, but enjoyed focusing on something new, so feel good.

Mikaili Sol

We saw you make several close attempts at landing the slim 7 near the end of the Brazil event. Will you be dropping it in Qatar do you think?
I’ll be trying a few slim 7s here in the comp if the conditions fit and I’m looking forward to seeing how this event will evolve for me. I’m definitely going to try my 317s, maybe some front blind mobes and back mobe 5s. The slim 7 I’ll do if the conditions are suitable, but I don’t want to push myself to a point where I can get hurt.

Which has been the hardest part about learning the slim 7?
The slim 7 is hard because it’s been so many years in the making. I just didn’t really feel like I had the motivation to keep trying because it was a really hard trick to learn and it took a lot of effort and dedication. More recently the guys have been really pushing me to do it and that outside push has helped me want to make it. Landing it was one of the best feelings in my freestyle career for sure.

The GKA Kite World Tour calendar is packed for 2023. In recent seasons you’ve expanded your ambitions to ride in more disciplines. What disciplines can we expect to see you ride in this year?
I’ll be doing both freestyle and big air, so it’s going to be tough with four or five freestyle stops, plus the big air events. On top of that I have shoots in between so I feel like this year is going to be a really busy year with a lot of time on the road away from home. I’m going to take it as a good thing, seeing as the last two years we haven’t had a lot of stops with Covid etc, but generally I’m stoked to finally have more stops on the calendar.

What do you think is the most important element in your training, or life, that keeps you focused and winning?
Last year I learned that if I try to do something for too long then I just get sick of it and lose the motivation. Since seriously taking on two disciplines in kiting and widening my perspective on the sport, my love for kiting has grown even further and I feel like I enjoy doing it more. So yeah it’s going to be fun trying to keep up in the big air and the freestyle and it will be a wild ride. So I will buckle up for it.

Read the interview with men’s defending Qatar Airways GKA Freestyle-Kite World Champion, Gianmaria Coccoluto, here.

The Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup runs at Fuwairit Kite Beach from 31 January – 04 February. Follow the event live when it begins here! 

www.gkakiteworldtour.com/live

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