Love is in the air for two canopy piloting athletes

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Canopy Piloting requires athleticism, grace, and a whole lot of guts.

This World Games thriller features the top 32 canopy piloting athletes in the world.

The men and women compete in the same division which makes for one interesting dinner conversation for two of the athletes.

Yes, love is in the air - literally - for one canopy piloting couple. The Bartholomew’s are the only couple to compete in the sport in the World Games, and they’ve done it twice.

It was love at first dive for Curt and Jeannie Bartholomew.

“We are holding hands and then out we went, it was the coolest, most romantic moment,” Jeannie said.

In nine years of marriage, the Bartholomew’s life revolves around jumping out of choppers, spinning through the air, and landing in style.

“We’re together 24 hours a day, honestly we have an amazing relationship,” Jeannie said.

So good, the Bartholomew’s are still the only couple to ever make the World Games field of 32.

“Which is amazing, it’s really difficult to make the team and compete here,” Jeannie said.

Their prep consists of workouts, jumping out of planes, nutrition and mental coaching, but most importantly, it’s their love for each other that keeps them flying high.

“And that’s a huge reason that we’re at the level we are for sure,” Curt said.

The teammates in life actually compete against each other in canopy piloting.

“Anytime I beat Curt, which is not very often, he is super stoked and proud of me,” Jeannie said.

Jeannie expects the six-time world champion to take home gold in Birmingham.

“That’s the best time I’ve run with these rules,” Curt said.

Curt said a winning jump hits the correct spots on the water and land.

“Really fast and really smooth, with a lot of control,” Curt added.

No big pep talk needed for these pros, but they’ll always have a moment to themselves before taking off.

“He has a key on his wrist and a heart on mine, so we do a little handshake, do a little bump, kiss each other, and off we go,” Jeannie said.

You can see all the canopy piloting competitors Saturday morning at Barber Motorsports Park.


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