Vail Teva Games: What are these people doing? Free running
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Two men were inverted on top of a metal beam that was high above the crowd’s heads at the Teva Mountain Games Friday.
One woman was flipping around a conjoining metal beam. Next to the high-flying entertainment, there were several metal boxes on top of a yoga mat. A young man ran from one side, jumped off the box, and flipped on to the other side of the ground – landing perfectly. Another man did a front flip-straight from the ground.
These crazy entertainers are part of a parkour and free-running team, which will be on display for the rest on the weekend on Meadow Drive.
Parkour is an athletic discipline where practitioners increase their mobility using their own physical abilities by either running, jumping, vaulting, rolling, swinging and climbing.
Free running combines parkour with gymnastics in order to demonstrate practitioners’ own athletic talent by passing over or around the daily obstacles.
One member states, “the world is our playground,” meaning this team and other athletes will practice free running in any environment. And they did so all Friday in front of curious passers-by.
The team consists of sevem men and one woman, who range in age from their teens to their mid-30s.
The youngest member is Logan Breitweiser, 15. He’s been involved free running for about a year-after he “showed up to school one day where his friend told him to check out a clip on YouTube.”
The Internet also led Noah Mittman and Lorin Ball into becoming involved with this athletic discipline. Mittman is 19 and has been involved with the team for more than a year and a half.
From watching video clips on the Internet, Mittman learned how to do his first front-flip in the ninth grade. Ball, a 22-year-old man, has been a member of the team for 7-8 years. After watching “Jackie Chan scenes on YouTube,” Ball became inspired to become a free runner. He is also featured on the cover of Westward Magazine.
Other than the Internet influencing the future practitioners, individual sports like gymnastics or martial arts have become a popular gateway into free running. Elias Croft, 27, Dan Perez-Tejada, 23, started out in martial arts. Jason Khaz started his career from break dancing – he now performs for the Nuggets and the free-running ream.
Danielle Grover is the only woman teammate who practiced gymnastics for 11 years. Grover is only 19 and she hopes that gymnastics, free running, and parkour will help her land a spot in Cirque de Solei.
Bryan Taylor is the leader of the team. He is 33 and has been training specifically in the free-running culture for about five years. But he claims that he has been “moving like this my whole life.”
The team has been in a Go Fast commercial. It has also been in a show called “Ink,” a Motorola shoot, and have done multiple stunt works for different companies. The members of the team are from all over Colorado, but they practice together in Denver.
For more information, either visit http://www.HybridFreeRunning.com or watch them perform at the Teva Mountain Games.
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