Amy Chmelecki is a household name in the skydiving community. She’s known for her drive in the sport, her many contributions, as well as being a Red Bull athlete. But there’s more to Amy than just her badassery – she’s thoughtful, down-to-earth, and inclusive. We get a rare look inside her life with CYPRES athlete Melissa Lowe, a good friend of Amy’s as they talk about a few memorable moments in their lives.
but there are two special places on the ground that she is deeply connected to. The first is New York. Amy grew up in a small town called Mamaroneck – a small town about 12 miles outside of New York City. Amy recalls, “It is a really special place cause it feels like a small town, but it is in the middle of a massive urban environment.” Amy spent all her childhood in this small town. She said, “I did not travel much growing up, and I had no idea that any place was different than my corner of the world.”
Then Amy discovered skydiving and she was about to uncover a different part of the world that was to become her home. “My ‘OG’ jumping buddy, Jeff Provenzano and I had heard about a huge dropzone in Arizona. We were curious and wanted to check it out. We had just wrapped up our sophomore year of college and all we had was: a tent, sleeping bags, a piece of shit car, $500 total and about 14 jumps each. Then, we drove west.” Amy remembers Jeff getting a job packing tandems and she picked up the graveyard shift waitressing at the local truck shop diner.
She fondly recalled, “Once a week we rented gear and did about 6 jumps each. Scott Smith let us move into his trailer, which was amazing because Jeff and I had no idea it would be over 100 degrees all summer long! Tent living in the desert was difficult! We had the time of our lives that summer. Each night I would stare at the sky and wonder how on earth the same cloud could be out every night. It was not until halfway through the summer that I was told it was the milky way. I fell in love with Arizona and I knew from that moment on, that one day it would be my full time home.”
or are getting to know Amy can undoubtedly tell you she’s incredibly passionate about skydiving. It’s easy to fall in love with skydiving, but for many, they can easily fall out of love with it. Amy’s been jumping for two and a half decades and still going strong. She simply said with a smile on her face, “I absolutely love flying my body! I love love love that feeling!!! I also love the view. It feels so good to look around when I am under canopy. Oh and the people, they are okay too 😉 and by that I mean, they are the best people I have ever known and I am so grateful to be surrounded by them all the time.” This, and jumping in epic locations with people she trusts is where Amy continues to get her drive for the sport.
One thing we love about Amy is that she is an open book. She doesn’t really have anything to hide and is always good for a story and a good laugh. When asked if there is anything possible that people don’t know about you in skydiving, she said humorously, “By now, everyone knows everything and if there is something people do not know, well let’s just say, there is a reason! Ha ha ha, totally kidding, I am not that interesting. I have been an open book my whole life, so if people have been paying attention they know everything.” Then she said, “Well, I do have about 1000 jumps delivering pizza! Most of that footage is good and buried, but oh man have I delivered some pizzas!”
[For those not familiar with “delivering pizzas,” when the early freefly skydiving pioneers learned the art of head down flying, the body position with the arms looked much like one was delivering a pizza!]
as skydivers that there are extraordinary moments we share with others. Amy has such an extraordinary list of epic experiences but a few stood out and she began to reminisce, “Yes, there’s a lot to choose from because there have been so many special jumps and special in different ways. Like connections with loved ones. I have done tandems with several people I love dearly and it’s the best to share what I love to do with them.” Then she recalled another jump. “I did a freefly jump with Roger Nelson, the owner of Skydive Chicago, just a few weeks before he died. We had such an amazing time on that jump. Skydive Chicago was my sponsor at the time and Roger supported me and believed in me as an athlete. I will never forget that feeling and that special jump.”
With someone with such a resume, she didn’t stop there in recalling those special moments, “Then there are the weird location jumps. I have jumped in several huge cities and several espically remote spots. I love both types of adventures and visuals! There are the records and the championships. Tracking away from a jump you know you just completed a record, is a wonderful feeling.”
She’s learned to balance her career over the years as when she was younger, she remembers getting burned out. “I have now learned to make necessary adjustments before the burnout sets in. Overall, I think my love for this sport is so massive and I can’t imagine not doing it!”
Many know that Amy is one of the lead organizers for Project 19, the Women’s Vertical World Record on a mission to celebrate and honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
“Project 19 is such a special mission because I get to use the sport I love to celebrate and express gratitude for the women who fought for 71 years! SEVENTY ONE YEARS, was how long women in the US fought to receive the right to vote. I am so stoked to honor them with Project 19. I am a voter! It is important to me, I want to remind people that there was a time where not everyone had the right. It should not be taken for granted.”
We are so fortunate to have Amy on our team here at CYPRES. She’s a shining example of pure love for the sport which we admire. To learn more about Amy and her upcoming projects, you can follow her on her FACEBOOK page, or her website here: https://www.brokenrecords.world/.
See also our first blog with Amy from 2016 – Catching up with Amy Chmelecki.