Getting high on lots of hot air

PHOTO: REUTERS

For centuries, man has been captivated by the idea of flight.

That was how long it took for those faltering steps from the dream of Icarus to that first flight in Kill Devil Hills in 1903.

And now, as they say, we are not in North Carolina any more, Toto.

The Wright brothers would have had a real kick out of the World Air Games, held this year in Dubai, whose skyline can be glimpsed from the hot-air balloons ascending above it.

More than 850 competitors from 55 countries competed in 23 different disciplines, from model aircraft racing to speed skydiving. The games are held every four years under the rules of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

Man has come far, that he can now play in the sky. One wonders what the next frontier would be. Next stop, World Space Games?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2015, with the headline 'Getting high on lots of hot air'. Print Edition | Subscribe