MISSBISH Flex Zone | The Extremely Fly Roberta Mancino
It is difficult to put a finger on what exactly Roberta Mancino does - she's a professional extreme athlete, stunt woman, and model. And the best part is, she can do them all at the same time. The Italian sky diver has seen the world from above and in a male-dominated industry, she has found a way to make the industry work for her. When she is not jumping out of a plane for the third time in a day, she may be at the gym or salsa dancing. Read her interview below, where she talks about how she got started and what it's like to be extremely fly. Click here to watch some of her insane skydiving videos!
Tell us about how you began skydiving. Did you ever imagine yourself doing what you do today?
I started skydiving in 2000 because I've always wanted to fly! Since I started, I've never stopped. I've never gone for longer than two months without jumping. I now compete and teach this sport in different disciplines. I had no idea when I walked to the drop zone for my first jump that it would become my job.
You have received several awards and broken world records. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Probably the world record for formation skydiving, but also projects that came from my ideas, like High Fashion for GoPro. To be able to express myself freely, and to fly while still being perceived as feminine, is an accomplishment.
What kinds of challenges have you faced in your athletic career and how have you overcome them?
Not feeling weak just because I'm not a man. Being surrounded by many guys and feeling the same confidence in flying as them. Some jumps are very stressful and difficult, it's important to keep calm during those moments.
Do you have any pre-skydive rituals? If so, what are they?
Not really, I just can’t wait to fly. I don’t like to sit in an airplane.
“I started skydiving in 2000 because I've always wanted to fly! Since I started, I've never stopped."
When you are not working, what are you doing?
I go to the gym and I cook. If I'm in my country I like to go to salsa dancing.
You have skydived in many places around the world. Do you have a favorite?
One of the most amazing experiences was when I flew over a volcano in Chile. I also love to fly over the ocean, like in Hawaii.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Take your time to learn and only do things when you feel ready. Don’t ever push yourself for a job if you are not sure.
You are a woman of many talents, is there anything you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
I would like to dedicate more time to learn how to surf. I never had time and I just started to learn.
What advice would you give to female athletes who want to go pro?
Train a lot and be smart with your decisions.
What is a typical day in the life of a professional athlete?
I skydive every week. In the winter, every day. Most of the time I do six to eight jumps a day if I'm teaching people to freefly or wingsuit. I try to go to the gym at least four times a week.
What are some hidden gems in Los Angeles?
Colori kitchen Italian restaurant, behind the In-N-Out next to LAX. You can watch the big planes coming in right above you. Also, Vietnamese food in Chinatown.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
I hope I can inspire other women to follow their dreams, even when it's hard or scary because you only get one life and we should do what we love.
Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
My mom is the one who inspires me the most. She is the strongest person I know and she is very honest and real.
Photographer: Christina Choi