Italian-born Roberta Mancino might be better know for her skydiving stunts, but she’s also an experienced base jumper. And while she doesn’t like to talk much about it, she was also named one of the sexiest athletes in the world by Men’s Fitness.
THE CLYMB: Were you active as a child? Did you like extreme sports/adventures?
ROBERTA MANCINO: Yes I was very active and practiced sports all my life. And I loved adventures movies and books.
THE CLYMB: Which one of all the adrenaline-inducing sports/activities you’re involved in was the first one you tried?
RM: I would say kick boxing when I was 15 years old. I rained hard for many years and also participated in competitions. I think it was really good for me: it gave me good flexibility, balance and concentration; and all those things that are important in the sports I practice now.
THE CLYMB: You are involved in a lot of very different sports, but they all seem to have one thing in common: danger and adrenaline. Is that really the case?
RM: Not really. I love to dance salsa, for example, but nobody cares about it because it’s very common. I am just attracted to flying and water and I love animals.
THE CLYMB: Of the things you do, which one would you say is the most dangerous? And which one seems dangerous but it’s actually a lot safer than people think?
RM: BASE jumping is the most dangerous because you are jumping close to a wall. If you fly too close to the terrain or next to a cliff you can have turbulence and that can badly affect your flight. Also, you only have one parachute. The one thing I think is less dangerous is shark diving, as long as you respect the animals.
THE CLYMB: You have won several awards and set world records with your skydiving. Can you tell us a bit about some of those awards?
RM: I was part of three world record winnings for free fly formation skydiving. It’s flying all together head down to Earth while everybody builds a formation by holding their hands.
THE CLYMB: You got involved in base jumping after already being very experienced in skydiving. Any favorite jumps you’ve made so far?
RM: Skydiving and base jumping are very different. Skydiving requires jumping from an airplane at 14.000 ft. Base jumping implies jumping from fixed objects that are at a much lower altitude I have lots of favorite jumps: over a volcano in Chile or at night in Panama City flying with my wingsuit from buildings. I love skydives in beautiful places, like over the sea. Both sports are hard to be very good at, but BASE jumping is way more dangerous than skydiving.
THE CLYMB: You were named 2010 World’s Sexiest Female Athlete by Men’s Fitness. How does your modeling fit into the rest of your world?
RM: Modeling has never been my favorite thing, even though I love art and artistic pictures. It doesn’t always fit with everything else I do, but I did take part in many projects like the high fashion shoot of Roberto Cavalli for Gopro, the shark pictures for Vogue and the BASE jumps for Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. Those are all special modeling jobs because they are combined with the sports I do.
THE CLYMB: Can you tell us a bit about your shark diving experience?
RM: I love the ocean and sharks are some of my favorite animals, I’ve been diving since I was 18 and started diving with sharks soon after. When I’m with them in the water I’m always fascinated by such smart and beautiful animals. I also wanted to help them since they are on the way to being wipe out of our planet. Unfortunately, people think that shark soup or some shark products are necessary, but as a result we are just killing all of them.
THE CLYMB: What is it like to work as a stunt woman? Any movie you can mention?
RM: I think the biggest one is Iron Man 3! I also do stunts for movie and commercials. Most of my stunts are about flying, BASE jumping and skydiving, but I also did a few scuba diving stunts and a few fighting scenes many years ago.
THE CLYMB: Any challenges or plans ahead? What’s the next stunt you’d love to try?
RM: I can’t talk about my next project as it is a secret, but lots of challenges. We also have many new wingsuit competitions coming this year!