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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Urban Athletics

While meandering through Gasworks Park, Molly and I noticed a group of young men and women who seemed to be jumping, leaping, and flying throughout some of the older, painted structures. After several unsuccessful attempts, I was determined to capture one of these urban athletes in action. While I would have liked to capture more of this leap, I nailed the landing and worked with the angle I had available to capture. It took a bit of work in Photoshop to bring the photos together, but I love it!

Urban Athletics

While I have been referring to this activity as urban athletics, a bit of online research tells me it is traditionally called parkour, or l'art du d├ęplacement (the art of movement). It is a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, usually through jumping, vaulting, balancing, and climbing. We could also call it freerunning. The term derives from the French parcours du combattant, the classic obstacle course method of military training proposed by Georges H├ębert in the early 20th century.

This particular move in parkour is a saut de bras or arm jump, where the athlete lands on the side of an obstacle in a hanging or crouched position with the hands gripping the top edge ready to perform a planche (muscle up) and eventually climb up on the obstacle and continue.

Eric Lovelin Photography

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