The Fear Factor
Channel One Russia – June 30, 2013
Who knew that when I got contacted by Victoria Petrova, the editor of Informational Broadcasting Department of Channel One Russia, on Tuesday June 25, that I would end up sharing the stage with such high figures five days later.
Being busy and in between projects, I had little time available to anyone, much less to a tv station who calls me up to find out if they can “do an interview tomorrow”. What is it about I asked? It’s about fear. They want to know if I am afraid of diving with sharks. Well, I said no on both counts. No, I am not afraid of diving with sharks, otherwise I would not do it and no, you cannot interview me tomorrow, I don’t have any time.
That did not seem to discourage them. What about the day after, they asked? I said, fine, 11am, that’s the only time I have. They must have been motivated, because they changed their flights (the Channel One Russia correspondant Ivan Blagoy was coming from Berlin) and were at the appointed place (my local training spot, the Olympic pool in Lancy, Switzerland) on time.
We met briefly and Ivan started firing off questions. Well, you know me, once you get me started it’s hard to stop me. In any case, he asked the same question as the editor on the phone: “Are you afraid of diving with sharks?” And again, I said no, I am not. Later in the interview, when Ivan heard me say that I am terrified of heights (and I weigh my words carefully), he could not help a chuckle. How is that possible?
It seems scientists are starting to figure out that we all have things we’ve got an innate ability for and others which feel strange and foreign, hence we’re viscerally afraid of them.
After the less than 30-minute interview was over, I asked how long the piece would be and who else they interviewed. Yes, I know that would seem careless not to ask these questions prior to the whole thing, but like I mentionned earlier, I was pretty busy in the days prior to the interview.
The answer, my friends, is truly blowin’ in the wind. Get this, Ivan said, quotes “Oh, yesterday we interviewed Yves Rossy. And our US correspondants interviewed Felix Baumgartner“, the piece will be about 6 minutes long and it will run the day after tomorrow”. End quotes.
Is this for real? Well it is. I was fortunate to meet Yves Rossy “Jetman” 4 years ago after one of his talks. Truly a great man, innovative, pionneer in his realm, the first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing. Felix Baumgartner, well, he does not need an introduction either. You all remember watching him back on October 14, 2012 becoming the first man to jump to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere.
I remember vividly watching the whole time prior to his leap, with the most queezy feeling in my stomach. Like I told Ivan, I am not afraid of diving with sharks but I am terrified of heights.