rik_brezina I was born in 1968 in what was then Czechoslovakia.  As a child, my favorite activity was sneaking away after school and exploring the mountains behind town, not returning home until dinnertime.  The next day, instead of paying attention in class, I would draw maps of my adventures.

When I was 12, my family abruptly decided to emigrate, which entailed an escape across the Iron Curtain.  I ended up in Toronto, Canada, and frustrated with the lack of nature to explore there, I focused instead on astronomy and computer programming, particularly on the orbital dynamics of artificial satellites.  Within several years, we had a small group of dedicated members scattered across the world and connected by the beginnings of the Internet, tracking down secret American spy satellites with only binoculars and primitive computers but with an accuracy that at the time exceeded even that of the American NORAD tracking system.  In the post-911 world this would have been a very dangerous activity, but at the time the hack is largely what got me accepted into MIT.

 While an undergraduate in the Boston area, I realized that the mountains were once again more accessible, and to restore my mental balance I took up rock climbing and mountaineering, activities that would more or less dominate my life for the next 20 years.  Preferring adventure to pure sport, I generally shied away from sport climbing and sought out long traditional routes or mixed routes in the big mountains.  My efforts culminated in climbing the very technical Cassin Ridge on Mt McKinley (6,190m).  I also made numerous other ascents across North America and Europe.

 Around this time, I was back in Canada doing doctorate research in theoretical physics, mostly through building and running computer simulations.  Coincidentally an opportunity came to live and work in Japan teaching English, and while this was not at all the job I had been training for, I saw that I would be living in a beautiful environment that was full of possibilities.  It turned out to be so good that my wife Leanne and I have decided to stay in Japan more or less indefinitely.  Rock climbing is rather limited here so we shifted our focus to sea kayaking, and within a few years did more-or-less all the interesting open-water crossings to be done in southwest Japan, pioneering many of them.

It was then that we turned our attention to paragliding, a sport that happens to be rather popular in Japan.  I soon realized that the risk assessment, spatial awareness, and navigation skills which years of rock climbing and kayaking gave me were the perfect set of tools to begin flying XC by paraglider.  Now in my sixth year of flying, I’ve logged nearly 3000 hours and countless XC flights, including the distance record for the Japanese island of Kyushu, and 332km in the flats of Australia, where Leanne and I visit every year.  We are also regulars in the European Alps every summer.

I am not sure what is next, but while paragliding continues to be interesting and rewarding, I’ll be happy just to continue flying. 

名前:ブレジナ・リック (Rick Brezina)












グライダー:沢山。オゾンM6, オゾンデルタ2、オゾンM4, マックパラMagus6、Niviuk Peak, UP Trango3, GIN Boomerang Xなど(いずれもおさがりです!)