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Culture (Life): Kiiking Brooke Jorden Between Heaven and Ground: Kiiking in Estonia OR Defying Gravity: Extreme Swinging in Estonia Every child dreams of defying gravity by with aswinging 360-degrees swing around the spindle of a the swing set—, and in 1996, Estonian engineer Ado Kosk made this dream a reality.

Comment [J1]: Verified by www.kiiking.com

By adapting Estonia’s traditional when he transformed traditional Estonian wooden swings, which have wooden panels rather than chains, Kosk formulated a set with adjustable steel poles and foot straps to hold swingers in place while they fly in a full loop around the top of the frame. His adaptation ushered in kiiking (pronounced keeking), an extreme sport in which competitors swing around the spindle at increasing levels of difficulty. into steel swings capable of carrying out a full loop around the top of the swingT. Twenty-year-old Raili Laansalu, a native Estonian and veteran kiiker, says, “When you are standing upside down and looking at the ground and all around you, and you know that you cannot fall down, well, it feels like you are between heaven and ground. I have never felt anything like that anywhere.” This is kiiking (pronounced keeking), and Ddespite her busy life as a student, Laansalu competes in several kiiking competitions a year. So how does kiiking work? Kiiking swings have adjustable shafts and posts, allowing riders to choose the level of difficulty for each swing. The longer the shafts are, the more difficult it is to swing over the spindle. Once the height is set, riders strap their feet to the

Comment [C2]: This sentence seems to repeat the same information. It opens with the fact that children dream of rotating 360 on a swing and suggests that Kosk made this possible, but in explanation of how he made this possible, it just details that he created swings capable of carrying out a full loop without giving much explanation. To avoid the repetition and allow for opener to dig in a little more, I have suggested the included revision. It also attempts to introduce kiiking to the reader before they are introduced to Laansalu, a veteran kiiker. Formatted: Indent: First line: 3 pi Comment [J3]: Brooke: I couldn’t verify her age. Are you absolutely sure that she’s twenty years old?

seat of the swing and begin to pump by alternately squatting and standing. As the riders build

Comment [BBJ4]: Yep. I asked her as part of the interview, and I just went back to double check 

momentum, their own weight pulls them back and forth and up and around the spindle.

Comment [J5]: Spelling confirmed by www.kiiking.com

Extreme athletes in annual competitions must complete a swing in less than five minutes, with the length of the shafts extended each round. Each competitor has only one shot at each height, and the competitor who completes a swing with the shafts at the longest setting

Comment [J6]: Verified by www.liveleak.com/c/kiiking Formatted: Indent: First line: 3 pi


wins. Outdoor competitions usually take place during the summer in Estonia and across Eastern Europe, but many countries have built indoor facilities to host kiiking competitions all year long. And the competitions are open to anyone with the guts to compete.

Comment [J7]: “Eastern” stays capped, CMS 8.46 Comment [C8]: This is a nice fact.

Laansalu completed her first circle around the spindle in 2002 on a kiiking swing that her father bought on a whim. “At first it was really scary,” she explains, “but the feeling gets better every time.” Laansalu says that she and her brother could not make it all the way around the spindle the first time they tried kiiking. “We kind of gave up,” she says. But in 2002 they tried again and started trying again in 2002, but, and it went better. that time it went better, and w “We all managed to get over the spindle,,” Laansalu recallsshe says. “I guess that was the beginning of our fascination with this sport.” And kiiking has most certainly become a sport. Extreme athletes in annual competitions must complete a swing in less than five minutes, with the length of the shafts extended each round. Each competitor has only one shot at each height, and the competitor who completes a swing with the shafts at the longest setting wins. Outdoor competitions usually take place during the summer in Estonia and across Eastern Europe, but many countries have built indoor

Comment [J9]: “Eastern” stays capped, CMS 8.46

facilities to host kiiking competitions all year long. All competitions are open to anyone with the guts to compete.

Comment [C10]: This is a nice fact.

While there are many countries that participate in kiiking, it is a distinctly Estonian sport. Kiik means “swing” in Estonian, and Estonian village squares always featured a large wooden swings. Today, these village swings stand as a reminder of a deep-rooted Estonian tradition. Swinging is Estonia’s beloved past, and kiiking is their promising future, the discovery they will share with the world. But, as any hard-core kiiker can tell you, swinging doesn’t become kiiking until your feet are above your head. And when that happens, according to Laansalu, “the feeling is pretty amazing.” As in life, when your world turns upside down, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost control. You’re just somewhere between heaven and the ground.

Comment [J11]: Verified by translate.google.com Comment [C12]: Do they no longer feature them? Perhaps if it is an old tradition, we should say “traditional Estonian village squares featured large wooden swings” Comment [J13]: Verified by MerriamWebster


Word Count: 514 Check out an awesome kiik at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWbcsEDrmFE.

Comment [J14]: Web address works

—Brooke Jorden

Comment [BBJ15]: So, I just realized that this link is kind of ugly. Like, with all the weird letters and stuff at the end. Do you think that matters? Would this one be better? http://www.kiiking.com/kiiking-communityvideos/urr

Sidebar: Estonian Origins

Comment [J16]: I like the new link. What do you think, Courtney?

the back-and-forth, give-and-take motion representing the rhythm of the swingers’ relationship.

Comment [C17]: Yeah, let’s go with the new link. We should talk to Brother Gardner about doing email aliases. It could make it a lot easier to have consistent web links.

This practice may have inspired the American idea to refer to swinging in sync as being

Comment [C18]: Do they no longer have them?

Estonian village swings awere usually large enough to carry anywhere from two to ten people,

“married.”

Kiiking_Jorden_08_AMEedit