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Parkour is alive. Tracers host competitions that will take your breath away
Parkour, parkour - a new movement ... - many of the continuation of this line from a once popular song comes to mind by inertia. 10 years ago, parkour was mentioned in music, and tracers were invited to shoot advertisements for famous brands. You could just go outside and see how the boys in the yard, inspired by the tricks of the professionals, tried to repeat at least a small part of what they saw. Do you think that all this is in the past? Not at all.
Currently, parkour is a whole way of life for many and is actively developing thanks to numerous associations and competitions in different countries. The most significant of the modern parkour and freerunning competitions - Red Bull Art of Motion - is still being held. Every year, the best athletes from all over the world meet at special venues to show fearlessness and maximum their capabilities.
This year the competition took place on October 5 in the ancient Italian city of Matera. The event traditionally impressed the audience with the scale, style and technical skills of the athletes. We propose to remember together how the large-scale movement of parkour began. We tell you about the history of the competition, fascinating locations and the strongest participants.
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The first major parkour competition. Vienna 2007
The history of parkour competition dates back to 6 October 2007. Then, for a large-scale event, an artificial site was built in the very center of the Austrian capital. With the onset of darkness, bright spotlights were lit, the host greeted the guests, and the first participant came out. Athletes performed tricks on a structure that looked like a staircase made of three huge cubes, horizontal bars, soft structures, cars and walls.
British tracer Ryan Doyle is the first ever winner of Red Bull Art of Motion. At the 2007 competition, the athlete's triumph did not end: he took gold for the second time in August 2011 and bronze at the March competition of the same year.
After the debut event, the organizers took a break. The next time parkour returned to Vienna two years later, in 2009, after which the competitions began to be held regularly.
The world's best spots for parkour
A great many can be found all over the world spots for parkour, so the organizers did not stop at one country and changed the location several times. Throughout the history of the competition, athletes have visited sites in Helsingborg (Sweden), Tampa, Boston and Detroit (USA), Londonot (UK), Yokohama (Japan), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Lavertezzo (Switzerland). But the mecca of parkour is definitely the Greek island of Santorini. It was there that the strongest freerunners fought annually for seven years - from 2011 to 2017.
The site in Santorini is not in vain recognized as one of the best for parkour. Its uniqueness lies in the natural relief, which occupies 95% of the total area. Only the remaining 5% are artificial structures. On the same principle, a new location in Matera was chosen: a significant part of the city in Italy was carved into the rock.
The strongest tracers
It is useless to argue in which country the representatives of parkour are the most technical. Even if you ask leading Russian athletes which country they like most parkour, you can hear completely different answers.
The representative of women's parkour Sasha Shevchenko has a different opinion:
After examining the results of the competition, we were still able to identify three athletes who impressed us. Their names in the list of winners and awardees flashed the most times.
Now an athlete from Latvia can be called an absolute record holder. He was among the top three freerunners seven times: three times he became a champion (and in three competitions in a row), three more times - a silver medalist, once - a bronze. In addition, Pavel received the best trick award in May 2010 and September 2012.
German tracer in the table of prizes nothing inferior to Petkuns. Jason's collection also has three gold medals, three silver and one bronze. However, he won the Best Trick nomination only once - in September 2010.
The representative of Greece is slightly inferior to his colleagues, being the owner of only four awards. Dimitris won competitions in 2014 and 2015 and took bronze in 2017 and 2019.
Is there a female parkour?
Definitely yes. A big breakthrough for world parkour was the first women's competition, which was held in 2012 in Switzerland. Until then, girls could not take part in the keynew competitions. The first winner was American Lucy Romberg - later she showed the best result in two more competitions.
The second place in the international parkour rating is taken by the Russian athlete Sasha Shevchenko. She boasts two gold and two silver medals in her personal collection.
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Parkour is a movement that has gained massive popularity in the past decade. And even though many people think that the fashion for it has disappeared now, the professional community of freerunning will clearly prove the opposite to you.