Interview to Marie Mateos
The paramotor multiple world champion tells his story
Date and place of birth: 22/06/1991 Châteauroux
Competitive debuti: 2014
- How did you get keen on paramotoring and when did you start flying?
I started to fly as pilot in hot-air balloon when I was 17. I was in a hot-air balloon flight when I saw a paramotor for the first time. after that, I immediately decided to learn to fly with it, and Alex taught me how to fly with paramotors.
- Which specialty do you prefer as competition? Slalom or Classic?
It’s a hard question for me, I really like both, but for different reasons. For classic competitions I like that you have a lot of materials to train at home, I like preparing the maps, tactical parts etc.
For Slalom Competitions I can experience incredible sensations, lots of speed, full power engines – with the 250 it’s amazing! – , trajectories…
- You are among the few women who practice the sport of paramotoring and on more than one occasion you achieved prestigious results coming first several men…
Yes, for me it’s a sport that, when you are in the air, there is no male or female differences, so it’s a very good challenge and an opportunity to challenge with all the competitors!
- Do you find that flying with paramotors is a sport more suitable for men than for women?
Absolutely not. We have a school with Alex, and I have trained some women that had not a high sport level, and sometimes they are not very tall. For this reason the Thor 80 is really perfect.
- How do men pilots and the racing environment see a woman like you who competes and is compared with other male athletes?
I have never asked them that question. Of course, I think men would like to be better than female 😉
- What would it take to encourage girls to start the sport of paramotoring?
Today we are lucky to have a good equipment, not heavy, and that doesn’t need mechanical knowledge. So it’s accessible to all the people who want to fly. And there is the possibility of flights with motors at low prices!
- How many years have you been working with Polini and using Thor engines?
I started to fly with Polini just after my first French Championship, in 2015. If you see the results in competitions, Polini is the best since a long time. When I started to be a member of the French National Team, I wanted to have the best possibilities to get good results. And also because we have a school, I know that the range of possibilities can satisfied all types of pilots today. From cool and smooth to more professional flights.
- Which is your favorite Polini Thor engine and why? We know that you use the Thor 200, what does distinguish it and what are the characteristics of this engine that you like so much to use?
With no hesitations the Thor 200. Because it’s an engine that have a very good power, but with really few tork effects. This is important for me due to my small weight compared to the high power of this engine. It has also very little vibrations. That means that the engine has a long duration without any problems.
- What was the experience that gave you the best emotions, not only as a sporting result?
Flying with Alex and other friends in a really sumptuous landscape in Oman, it is a very good memory for me. We flew over the mountains and deserted beaches, it was fabulous.
- From your experience as pilot and champion, what would you say to the girls who want to start flying?
Test it, and it will you open up a world of possibilities, great sensations, landscapes and friendliness!
Resume of victories during the years and competitions you won
Year 2016 Female World Champion in Classic competitions, England
Year 2018 Female World Champion in Slalom competitions, Egypt
Year 2017 European Silver Medal General classification, European Classic competition, Czech Republic
Years 2017 – 2018 – 2019 French Silver Medals, General classification, Classic competition in France
Year 2015 to 2019 : Women Gold medals in French Championship