You’ve heard it said by us, and by others, that helping women move up is very important to Dell. Sometimes, we mean that in the very literal sense!
Recently, the Croatian hot air balloon team with pilot Marija Petric Miklousic and her crew, participated in the first Women’s Hot Air Balloon World Championship in Leszno, Poland.
As they competed against 37 other teams from around the globe, Dell tablet technology was there to help them rise thousands of feet/hundreds of meters into the air.
It took much more than technology to make that moment possible, though. War once grounded the sport of ballooning in Croatia, but one man wouldn’t let his passion be destroyed.
Tom D. Miklousic fell in love with hot air balloons in the early 1980s and moved to the United States to get his pilot’s, and later, instructor’s license.
He then brought these skills back to his home city of Zagreb, Croatia, what was then part of Yugoslavia, to open a ballooning school. After a great start that earned them international recognition, the beautiful balloons were earth-bound in the early 1990s during armed conflict across the region.
But once fighting ended, Miklousic lost no time in lifting his Zagreb Balloon Club team again and they were the first pilots to carry the Croatian flag to an international world championship.
"Balloons are the most peaceful and serene of all man made machines. Exact opposite of what war represented, and to be able to travel and compete again was a motivation for all of us to carry on," said Miklousic. "To us, our balloon was almost like a white dove, as a symbol of peace and love. It has been like that ever since."
Twenty years after his first ballooning steps, Miklousic’s passion has grown into the largest aero club in Croatia, and his love of the sport has transferred to his family. In addition to wife Marija who led the team in the Women’s Hot Air Balloon World Championship, his son Igor is also an accomplished balloonist. With the club, they have traveled several continents, winning championship races in Europe and around the globe, striving to always be on the cutting edge of ballooning accomplishments and technology.
In today’s competitive world of modern ballooning, in addition to fine piloting skills a team needs solid technology.
Zagreb Balloon Club’s Windows tablets are there, every step of the way, running advanced navigation programs and helping the team to reach their targets with agility and precision.
Our Dell Venue 11 Pro’s screen size is helpful when running GPS, and the four-hour battery life allows them to keep check on weather and winds while in route.
“It’s been great to connect with such a hardworking team and see how our products are helping them,” says Filipa Petrovic, marketing manager at Dell Croatia. “There aren’t really that many sports where you can see so visibly how technology helps them do what they do.”
Dell Croatia is proud to sponsor Club Zagreb, not only for the opportunity to see our technology at work, but also because of the way their team gives back to the community. Every year Club Zagreb organizes ballooning schools for the public to get familiar with balloons and not a Christmas goes by without balloonist Santa landing in some part of Croatia bringing gifts to the kids.
“We in the Croatian Ladies Hot Air balloon team and Balloon Club Zagreb would like to thank Dell Croatia for their care and support,” Marija Petric Miklousic adds. “We look forward to together stepping up to new challenges ahead.”