Nearly 5,000 spectators were witness to Red Bull Art of Motion in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, where international parkour and freerunning athletes combined the physical disciplines of gymnastics, martial arts, and pure instinct to overcome obstacles within their path.
Described as the expression of one’s self through efficient movement from point to point, parkour and free-running are somewhat unfamiliar to The States. Red Bull Art of Motion blends the two disciplines, which each have their own distinctive style. Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome obstacles within one’s path by adapting movements to their surroundings. Free running is a form of urban acrobatics where individuals utilize the city landscape to perform movements throughout the natural features and terrain.
Camaraderie and encouragement passed from competitor to competitor as 20 athletes took 90 seconds each to freestyle across obstacles such as cars, giant tires, mailboxes and a crane. Based on their run, eight athletes advanced to the next round.
Ultimately, it was Jason Paul of Frankfurt, Germany who took home the trophy and the title of Red Bull Art of Motion Boston champion.
“It’s awesome to train all the time and get together with all the guys, have fun, then get rewarded for it by winning,” said Paul. “This is my first time in Boston and I was totally impressed by how everyone knew about the sport; the vibe was great and encouraging!”
The fluidity of Paul’s moves plus his dynamic and unique ability to connect tricks brought him the trophy. He came in second at Red Bull Art of Motion Tampa last week and first in Vienna earlier this year.
Coming in second was Pip Andersen from Taunton, England. Andersen was one of the stars of MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge and one of the original athletes of the World Freerunning Parkour Federation (WFPF).
“We love partnering with organizations like Red Bull, who understand that this sport is different. As you can see from the competition today, everyone gave 100 percent,” said Victor Bevine, Cofounder of the WFPF. “It’s all about supporting their brothers in the sport.”
Judges included Red Bull’s own parkour athlete Ryan Doyle, as well as other notable athletes within the community.