Resilience, motivation, passion: to be a top-tier athlete, you have to have all three. As a former Golden Knight and member of XP8, CYPRES athlete Brian Krause (BK) has tasted victory at a competitive level that few others attain. Though the 2022 World Championships at Skydive Arizona was his last showdown as a full-time competitor, BK has big things on the horizon.
Let’s learn a little more about this member of the CYPRES team, shall we?
BK began skydiving early on in his military career with the 82nd Airborne Division club. After putting in his time on the ground and in the air with the 82nd Airborne demonstration team, he set his sights on being accepted to the Golden Knights. Though thwarted by injury during tryouts two years in a row, BK was resilient. As luck would have it, a few months after his injury, BK was contacted by the Golden Knights and asked to support the Style and Accuracy team with video. He seized the opportunity.
Despite technically being considered a part of the team, BK still elected to go through tryouts to be assessed. His dedication paid off, and he was officially “knighted”.
BK became a member of the Golden Knights 4-way competition team in 2004 and remained a member until his pivotal transition to 8-way. In 2009, BK proved instrumental in re-establishing the US Army Golden Knights 8-way team. As captain of the Golden Knights, BK led the 8-way team to back-to-back gold medals at the World Cup in 2011 and the World Championship in 2012.
In 2019, BK returned to the role of a full-time competitor. This time with Skydive Paraclete’s XP8.
Since the start, XP8 have been a force to be reckoned with, securing:
Though BK is no longer on the team, XP8 (recently renamed GKXP8) has their sights set on bringing home another gold medal from the 2024 World Championships in Israel. Secondary goals of GKXP8 are to set world records for highest scoring average and highest scoring round at the world meet!
Being the best is a feat hard won. It requires a tremendous level of commitment. Training camps are physically taxing, pushing for both quality and quantity, and there’s a mental resolve that has to be attained in order to keep going. For BK, it’s not just a drive for individual acclaim that motivates him to perform now. Rather, he says:
“At a certain point, you don’t do it for yourself, you do it for the people beside you, those that you’re on the team with. Being in Russia this year and watching Mikhail, John, Michelle, Jeana, Elliot, Andrew and Chris winning their first World Championship, you just get more satisfaction seeing other people win for the first time. This was also my first World Championship outside of the Golden Knights that Matt Davidson and I were able to share together. We were very challenged going into Russia with a last minute lineup change, and how we were able to perform and what we were able to accomplish in that short time was a testament to the team … It was quite rewarding.”
Furthermore, BK elaborated that the success of the XP8 team can also be attributed to their team-wide work ethic:
“Something I think everyone on our team has is a fantastic work ethic. I wish I could sell the work ethic my team has to the world because I’d be a millionaire. I want people to know work ethic is what makes you successful.”
He also felt he would be remiss if he didn’t give credit to the critical support the team receives from the sponsorship of the dropzone, the Paraclete XP Wind Tunnel, DZO Tim D’Annunzio, and the manufacturer sponsors that enable the team to continue to be successful.
BK has every intention of ending his full-time skydiving career on top with XP, and we have no doubt that he’ll make that goal a reality.
So, what has this renowned athlete been doing since he is no longer a full-time competitor? It just so happens that in 2022, BK was approached by none other than CYPRES inventor Helmut Cloth with an engaging proposition. In order to offer better support to the US Military and government agencies, BK is now fulfilling a role as a military liaison.
In this position, BK plays a central part in interfacing with the military and relaying their needs and requirements to CYPRES in order to make skydiving operations safer and better for the men and women involved.
This role is particularly fitting for BK, not only as a retired member of the US Army, but also as an individual who has jumped a CYPRES since the very beginning of his skydiving career. He shared:
“When I bought my first rig, like anybody else, I was suffering for cash. I had bought a new rig, a new main, and a new reserve. AADs at that time weren’t as commonplace. This was really when the CYPRES was becoming mainstream. I had actually ordered a CYPRES, and I think I put maybe like $400 down on it. Well, my rig came in early and I didn’t have the CYPRES paid for. In those days, once you came off student status, you didn’t have to have an AAD. I was just a new skydiver and, at that time, all I cared about was jumping. Tony Thacker, who owned the dropzone gear store, said ‘take this CYPRES and put it in your rig because I would hate to see something happen to you for leaving this CYPRES on the shelf.’ So, I had a full new rig, complete with a new CYPRES and me and my 20-something jumps set out to tackle the world.”
And, with multiple world championships under his belt, it’s safe to say: that’s exactly what he did.
Here’s to BK!
Article written by LJ Happick