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Olive Escapes Into World Of Parkour

by Greg Lederer
New Craze Intriques Cheshire Teens
ent playgrounds in town.
Herald Staff “It’s good to start with the easier things
Words like escape and reach have been because you can move up to more diffi-
used to describe parkour, cult moves,” said Kohan. “Bartlem Park is
a French discipline where individuals a good place to practice this and you are
seek to move thtough and around obstacles comfortable
at a fast and direct pace. It offers a level of that you won’t get hurt.”
freedom for those seeking to break through Moving uninterrupted at fast speeds,
the constraints of their environment. safety is one of the most important features
Cheshire teenager Alex Olive enjoys this of parkour and traceurs often stress learn-
freedom and has spread the word about ing how to roll as a basic move.
parkour to local friends and people over “The roll limits impact on a drop so that
the Internet. you can move immediately into the next
“You get freedom out of it because one. It’s important that you learn how to
you learn to not be confined by your sur- land correctly without falling,” said Olive.
roundings,” said Olive, who is heading into “I think McNamara was a good place to
his junior year at Cheshire High School learn because it’s small and you can use
this fall. “You learn what you can and can’t the jungle gym to practice balancing and
do early in the learning process.” precision jumps.” Courtesy photo of Alex Olive
Participants, known as traceurs, focus Parkour involves a wide variety of Alex Olive demonstrates a strength move done in parkour move.
on constant motion and use skills such as moves with variations in each allowing
trick moves for participants with Belle say- through a growing forum at the New Eng-
jumping and running to pass under, around, for creativity. Olive and Kohan often use
ing that they aren’t efficient motions and land Parkour website
and through objects. Olive heard about it playground sites because the equipment
not parkour. With that exception, the boys (www.neparkour.com). This summer he
two years ago from his older brother and and railings offer opportunities for differ-
said there are endless moves to try out and was invited to participate
has since spent time researching the disci- ent kinds of vaults.
keep participants busy with the discipline. in a documentary piece for the New Eng-
pline, which was founded by Frenchman “It takes a mental game to learn the
“There are really no rules,” said Kohan. land Sports Network website in Boston,
David Belle. moves and see how far you can push your-
“There is always something new to try Mass.
“My brother went online and found the self,” Olive said. “Basically, it’s easier than
out.” “I met up with a couple people from the
main website dedicated to parkour. He you think because everyone jumps around
The climbing aspect has made urban ar- website and demonstrated
learned all the moves and took me to the anyway as a kid.”
eas a popular training site for parkour and different kinds of runs for them,” said
playground at McNamara (Park) to show The boys often focus on various leaping
Olive has taken the opportunity to experi- Olive. “We worked at this place called the
me how to do it, said Olive. “I’ve tried to moves like the demi tour (a one-handed
ence Baby Pool in Boston, which was a lot of
get other people involved in it ever since.” side jump over an object), saut de detente
this at exhibition events in New England. fun because it allowed us to try a lot of dif-
Dan Kohan, another student at CHS, (a two-handed jump to push off), and dash
Participants come together to try out their ferent moves.”
is one of the people who Olive has intro- vaults to clear obstacles without touching
moves on walls and buildings at an indoor According to Olive, the discipline is
duced to parkour and the pair have trained them.
complex. gaining support on multiple websites in the
together, over the last six months at differ- There was a discussion over flips and
Olive often talks with fellow traceurs New England