As readers of this blog know, I really like parkour/free-running. (Previous posts.) And you should too. After the ‘more’ there’s an incredible Youtube clip of someone riding a bike up, down, and over all things urban. (It’s really called freestyle BMX.) Enjoy, and don’t try any stunts yourself
More free-running news!
The world’s first free-running championships took place in London last Wednesday. Contestants had to complete a course (and provide their own soundtrack) and were judged for their ‘flow’ by other free-runners. The BBC have a brief video interview with the organiser of the event. The winner was American Gabe Nunez (who can be seen in this 3 Doors Down music video), while second and third places were won by Britons.
I don’t think the 2012 London Olympics have a demonstration sport picked out yet …
The thing I really like about alternative sports is that when any sport starts to become a bit too mainstream someone dreams up something new. When adrenalin junkies got bored with bungy jumping and skydiving they came up with base jumping, which stepped things up to a whole new level.
Free-running is an especially interesting development because although it’s a physical activity it is not considered a sport. Free-running developed out of Parkour which originated in France in the 1990s. The idea of Parkour is the aim of moving from one point to another as effeciently and quickly as possible with the abilities of the human body. Both are considered to be more of a physical or performance art. Where the two movements differ is that Parkour is all about efficiency of movement whereas free-running is about absolute freedom and expression of movement.
The development of free-running is a move towards the mainstream – there is even a world championship run by Urban Freeflow next month in London. This is in conflict with the principles of the art so it will be interesting how it handles this development like many alternative sports before it. Some groups are performing in movies like Bond and The Bourne Ultimatum. There was even a challenge on Top Gear where free-runners raced a car to the centre of a city. Anyway there is no point talking about an activity that is all about movement, so here is a clip from Wellington – where free-running has quite a following (the back of the central library is popular) – after the jump, and for much, much more, check out this page.