Indoor skydiver Kyra Poh is soaring to new heights

The Singaporean indoor skydiving champion will not let setbacks derail her flying dreams.

Jamie Leo

Published: 24 December 2018, 12:04 AM

Nothing can stand in Kyra Poh’s way, including a fractured rib.

Despite sustaining the injury in June this year, the 16-year-old indoor skydiver recovered just in time to participate at the Asiania Indoor Skydiving Championships in September.

“I felt really happy because I wouldn’t take my injury as an excuse not to do well. I wanted to show that I’ve recovered, and that I’m able to do it properly,” said Kyra, who left the competition with two gold medals.

Kyra’s spectacular comeback at the Asiana Indoor Skydiving Championships was just the beginning of her winning streak.

One month later, Kyra clinched the world champion title at the Federation Aeronatique International (FAI) World Cup with her teammate, Choo Yi Xuan, 17.

Who is Kyra Poh, and what makes her unstoppable? PHOTO CREDIT: AARON KAI

When Youth.SG met Kyra at Sentosa one month ago, she had recently returned from a competition in Bahrain. One would have thought she would be worn out from the training and travelling, but the chirpy teenager was all smiles.

Kyra Poh spiritedly shared how she began indoor skydiving, adding that it was “quite an unusual story”.

Eight years ago, Kyra’s mother was helping iFly Singapore with their advertisements. They needed people to film for a campaign, so she brought Kyra and her friend, Yi Xuan, to try out indoor skydiving.

Kyra and Yi Xuan eventually performed a routine for iFly Singapore’s opening ceremony, and the rest is history.

Yi Xuan (left) and Kyra (right) have been flying together as Team Firefly for eight years. PHOTO CREDIT: iFLY SINGAPORE

Unsurprisingly, Kyra shared she once dreamt of becoming an astronaut when she was younger.

“I thought that was the only way that I could fly,” she laughed.

One year after she started indoor skydiving, iFly Singapore held the Indoor Skydiving World Championships. It was then that Kyra knew she wanted to represent Singapore one day and compete overseas.

Kyra has accumulated over 30 medals from all the competitions she has taken part in. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON KAI

Like any other youth, Kyra still needs to balance her time between her studies and going for indoor skydiving lessons.

“It’s tough to juggle school and the sport at the same time. My competitions usually clash with my exams, which means I’ll have to train and sit for my exams too,” said Kyra, who is studying visual arts at School of the Arts (SOTA).

During the competition season, Kyra attends school from 8am to 5pm and trains from 6pm to about 10pm. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON KAI

While Kyra admitted it gets tiring sometimes, she is determined to continue pursuing the sport.

“There are moments when I feel I’ve had enough, but I know that I want to continue this journey and I won’t ever give it up,” said Kyra, adding that her late grandfather motivated her to fly.

Training in the wind tunnel can be physically taxing due to strong wind speeds up to 230km/h. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON KAI

Kyra also strongly believes in pushing herself further and seeking new adventures.

“When I tried indoor skydiving, I knew…that I would want to try outdoor skydiving next,” said Kyra, who was featured in Singapore Tourism Board’s campaign this year.

Unfortunately, while trying to attain her Accelerated Free-Fall (AFF) and A licence for outdoor skydiving in June this year, her leg got caught in a fence when she tried to land. Kyra landed chest-first on the ground, resulting in a fractured rib.

How does she deal with stumbling blocks like being prone to injuries?

“I’m a teenager, so sometimes I cry here and there, but my mother always tells me that these [setbacks] will get me further in life,” she said, adding that she has learned to be more careful after her recent injury.

Apart from training in the tunnel, Kyra stretches a lot to increase her flexibility. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON KAI

Kyra may only be 16, but the petite athlete has big dreams.

For starters, she plans to finish her outdoor skydiving course and participate in the FAI World Cup in April 2019. She also hopes that indoor skydiving will be recognised an Olympic sport one day, so that she can represent Singapore in the Olympics.

“I say that a lot, but I really hope to be able to [represent Singapore] one day. It’s my ultimate dream.”

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