So the parkour community has really been taking some blows as of lately, and for those that really want to get into parkour knowing things and events like these is important. It shows you care about the sport/discipline, and today we’re going to go over something that can potentially ruin the very thing we love and care about. Links to my sources will be below if you’d like to read them afterwards.
Let’s start with what FIG is and why they’re an issue. The Federation International de Gymnastique, or the International Federation of Gymnastics is the organization that governs, well, gymnastics. It’s one of the oldest leading organizations for an olympic sport.
Recently FIG, Jump Freerun, Apex Movement, and The Mouvement collaborated to make parkour stand out to a wider audience. Which I found interesting as Apex doesn’t associate parkour with competitions and won’t even let them call it parkour if a competition was made. A few days later, there were talks of it becoming an Olympic sport which would be one of the worst things that could happen to parkour.
Imagine if it became an Olympic sport. Okay, so you have all of these pro athletes going in, but you know what happens to some Olympic sports? They become restricted, fine tuned, and not to mention all of the kids that would be forced to do parkour because it’s now an Olympic sport. The philosophy and meaning behind parkour would be ruined just by the Olympics alone, let’s just keep our hopes up for the X-Games instead shall we?
After this collaboration was established and Apex threw together the Apex International in France to show their partnership with FIG, in an interview with secretary André Gueisbuhler, he said that parkour was “not organized” and that the basic premise is “to be free” (duh) and if parkour ever wanted a real competition that we would need “minimum rules” in order to have “more attractive” competitions. Not to mention they feel they’re “the most qualified to develop parkour.”
Not too long after this interview came out Apex Movement came out with a statement following up with the cancellation of Apex International in France. To be honest, several people who submitted for this competition and Apex should’ve known better. What’d they expect from a gymnastics federation? Ryan Ford disappointed me a bit and he knew he messed up. After all that smack talk about Take Flight and WFPF, who support the parkour community in many ways, you’d expect Ryan to be a little more cautious over a federation built around gymnasts who I could’ve told you had no real interest in parkour or any of that.
Following up with that statement, FIG then approached quite a few other people. WFPF being one of them. WFPF showed their disapproval with a very well written open letter. WFPF has remained a solid organization with solid intentions. In this letter they talk about how they believe “parkour MUST remain a free, independent and self-governing discipline.” Also comparing them to the British and French after WWI. WFPF does so much for the community such as making it possible to coach parkour in gymnastics facilities where cannot insure it.
This didn’t stop FIG in their endeavor to screw up parkour as a whole where there was a lovely picture with David Belle (founder of parkour) and Charles Perriere having a meeting with the president of FIG! This angered the community as a whole. David and Charles left the community and The Mouvement behind to pursue their own things. David Belle has done nothing to lead this community (or anything period) for the past decade. He truly has no place in making decisions for the community anymore, and it angers me that David Belle has that audacity.
Not far behind that picture, another Yamakazi member and founder of freerunning came out to say a few things about the matter. Sebastian Foucan Has always been a great influence on the community for parkour and freerunning (there’s no difference anymore so let’s drop that debate now) and WAS president of ParkourUK. ParkourUK is one of the leading organizations for parkour and freerunning alike. They helped make parkour become officially recognized as a sport in the UK. Sebastian’s words were very sad but straight to the point. He dropped his title as president of ParkourUK and will just be doing his own thing and wants to stay out of this drama.
FIG has really shown some true colors in our community. This is just another obstacle we must face though. As a community we are strong and can do the right thing together! Muv Magazine and Christopher Hollingsworth (a very good friend of mine) are doing everything they can to take action! With your help you can do it together! Muv Magazine also goes over this and how to help fight FIG against their endeavor to ruin parkour.
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Thank you guys for reading! These issues are important, and we as a community need to stay informed and work together to make this sport/discipline a better place for everyone!
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