Osu Avatar doesn't change who I am
Kayak ace Rafa Ortiz and the Niagara Falls: "When I saw him lying lifeless ..."
The footage from his GoPro camera while he was floating lifelessly underwater is terrible.
Crazy, right? We shortened the clip for the film. The entire recording is ten minutes long, and if you watch it in full, it will run down your spine. You feel what he's going through, see his motionless hands in the water for minutes, a small leaf that slowly drifts by, all in a terrible silence.
When we resuscitated him, we took off his helmet and camera - and unconsciously put it off in our panic in such a way that we documented the struggle for survival. That was by far the craziest day of my life.
Rafa Ortiz: "In the end it was about friendship"
Did that scene influence your decision not to drive Niagara Falls?
Not really, maybe together with many other experiences, for example at the Sahalie Falls. My worst near-death experience. Ice-cold, very fast water that draws the energy out of your body in seconds. I almost lost that fight against the river.
It was all part of this life changing journey, the maturation process that I went through over the three years. In the end, it wasn't really about driving Niagara Falls, it was about learning about life - and friendship.
What do you mean?
When I was there when I was 22 and when I was 25: They were two completely different people. I still believe that Niagara Falls can be successfully navigated in a kayak. I did not resign because it is impossible, but because something has changed in me. The waterfall doesn't change, I do. It was an egocentric Rafa project at first, and it took me to realize that there were other people involved.
In what way?
It was clear that the whole thing would be illegal. I needed two guys at the bottom of the falls to get me out of there - they would have been arrested for sure. If I had died in the act, the two would probably have ended up in jail for the rest of their lives for criminal negligence.
A week before day X I made it clear to them again that they could become criminals because of me, and they just said, “Cool, man. We'll be there. ”That was the point that made me rethink. Realizing that it's not just about me
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