“A Friendlier World with Air Sports”: FAI Young Artists 2021 Contest Winners Announced

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The FAI is pleased to announce the winners of the FAI Young Artists Competition 2021. During the 35th anniversary edition of the competition, artists from Japan won first prize in the Junior and Intermediate categories, with the Seniors winner coming from the United States.

The theme for 2021 was “A Friendlier World with Air Sports,” celebrating the friendships air sports forge with people around the world and of all ages. This global connection was reflected in the range of FAI member countries whose artists participated in the 2021 competition: Argentina, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States; fifteen countries in total.

The competition is open to young people aged 6 to 17. Notably in this year’s results, the Polish Milena Bak took second place in the Junior category, after a bronze medal in the 2020 competition.

All winners will receive FAI Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, as well as diplomas.

2021 winners

Junior category

  1. Haruto HIRAYAMA – JPN
  2. Milena BAK – POL
  3. Kako YAMAMOTO – JPN

Intermediate category

  1. Aoi IKEDA – JPN
  2. Anish UPADHYAYA – United States
  3. Daria PILYUGINA – RUS

Senior Category

  1. Amy LEE – United States
  2. Isabel CHANG – United States
  3. Wenxin SHI – CHN

The three age categories for the competition are:
Group I – Junior Category (Date of birth between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2014).
Group II – Intermediate category (Date of birth between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2010).
Group III – Senior Category (Date of birth between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2006).

Aoi IKEDA (JPN), winner in the intermediate category

Theme of the 2021 competition “A friendlier world with air sports”

When we think of aviation, our first thoughts go to heaven. We imagine what it would be like to hover in the air in a glider, float through the sky in a hot air balloon, or maybe even twist and loop through the clouds in an aerobatic plane. While being in the sky is glamorous, it’s only part of the adventure. Each journey begins in the field with a team of people working together to achieve something magical.

By working together, a group of avid aviation enthusiasts can accomplish what a single person never could. The friendships created during this process are one of the things that keep people coming back to air sports over and over again. Friends who meet to hang-glide share laughs on cliffs around the world. Hot air balloons enjoy meals with the chase vehicle crew after a flight through the countryside. Air shows, of course, offer it all. Everyone is invited to share the joy that sports aviation produces. Pilots love to talk about their planes, ground crews share the work it takes to keep everything safe and in top condition. Every plane is a conversation starter. Each gives people a chance to ask questions or share their own aviation stories. The chance to take a ride is irresistible for some, while others enjoy eating tasty food and watching the show above their heads. A single skydiver in the sky can hold the attention of hundreds of people below. Once the day’s adventure is over, participants and spectators leave with new friends, as well as stories to share between them and others.

Air sports bring people together and create friendships that connect people around the world and of all ages. Now it’s your turn to grab your favorite art supplies and create a poster that captures the friendlier world that comes from people meeting and sharing their love of sport aviation.


Haruto HIRAYAMA (JPN), winner in the Junior category

Top image: Amy LEE (USA), winner in the Senior category


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