Cześć Ewa! Although you look like a tender Polish girl you speak like a strict German. Your double last name puzzles me too. Who are you in fact?
My name is Ewa Wisnierska and I was born on 23.12.1971 in Nysa, a small town in South Poland, only 20km to the Czech Republic. When I was twenty years old, I fell in love and followed it to Germany. He was a Polish boy living in Germany. That time it was not possible to stay in Germany as a Polish girl. So we didn't have other option than marriage. This changed my name to Cieslewicz. Unfortunately, some years later something changed me. My life changed completely. Now I'm alone again, waiting for the official decision about getting back my family name Wisnierska. But flying and traveling also changed my point of view. I'm very happy about it. I prefere the world without frontiers. I still have my Polish passport but I would like to say: I'm an European.
I am always bewitched by your athletic figure. Why did you choose just paragliding from a whole range of sport activities?
When I was eight years old I used to go to a sport school. This gave me my athletic figure. But now I'm very lazy person, not doing any kinds of sports. Once, when my bike had been stolen, I was glad. I had a good excuse for driving my car. And paragliding? I do not need to be strong. I know, good condition would be helpful. Sometimes I try to do some sports. I started snowboarding last year and I'm going to do it this winter again. But there is no sport making me as free and happy as paragliding does.
Is your victory of PWC 2005 in the women category your first paragliding success?
The first success was when I started flying. It was in Poland five years ago. But I saw the difference to the German schools and that was why I decided to learn in Germany. When I get my licence, I knew it will change everything. I left Hamburg for South Germany and had nothing except flying in my head. Three years later some friends told me, I should fly competitions. I thought: OK, I will try. And in the first year I won all competitions. Except the European Championship because I entered the start cylinder too early the last racing day. Thus Petra Krausova won. I beat Louise Crandal in the Nordic Open and reached the second position in overall results. But my personal success in 2004 was the sixth rank in the German Open and in the German League within just one year. This gave me the motivation for 2005. I have never dreamed about winning four of five PWCs in Women category and reaching 20th position generally. But it hapened.
Do you earn a living as a paragliding pilot? Does it earn you enough money or not?
Flying and teaching of it is the only one source of my income. I have neither a flat nor any apartment. I live in my car and don't need to pay any rentals every month. This way of life is not very expensive. And I don't need any luxury. I prefer having time to money.
You are definitely better than Petra Krausova this year. Can you see any fundamental difference between your and her style of flying? Or is your paraglider the reason why?
I'm not sure. I think the secret of my success is my mental fitness. And this is hard work. Lifelong. The other thing is my strong will and a focus on the way of reaching my personal goals.
You are the best woman in the paragliding world now. What are your next personal goals?
To keep the motivation and to find better (bigger) sponsors to have more time and free mind to do things I would like to do. I would like to make our sport more popular and show more people how fantastic it is. I'm going to make a movie about the beautiful art of flying, which paragliding is.
What should you change in your life if you could?
My car. It's too slow and old. And if I could, I would like to speak all languages. But also at this point I'm too lazy to learn.
Are you satisfied with your life now? Are you happy?
I have fun living like a bird. I don't worry about the future. Maybe it will change one day. Maybe I will wish to have a family and my own home. But I haven't found the right place to stay yet. And currently I enjoy my life and flying.
Where will you spend this Christmas? In Germany or in Poland?
I'm very busy during the flying season in Europe. So I take the Christmas time to visit my parents in Poland and to drink my birthday Champagner with them. After that I'm going to go to Mexico on 27th of December to celebrate the New Year 2006 there. Actually I'm organizing a Paragliding Camp there for two schools. In the end of January I want to fly the Monarca Open as I did the last two years and after the comp I plan to go to Baja California to see dolphins, maybe scuba dive or just relax on the beach with some friends.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, "Birdy"!