Parkour a Growing Sport Among Women

Parkour is a sport whose participants jump off railings, over walls, and sometimes from roof to roof in a sort of spontaneous urban obstacle course. It has typically been the domain of young men (known as traceurs), but it's also growing among women (known as traceuses), as this video shows:

What's interesting about the video is how seriously the participants take parkour, learning the proper techniques, and knowing how to do it safely and efficiently. This is a legitimate sport that requires real athleticism.

Here's more from a 2007 New York Times article:

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The crux of the parkour philosophy, Mr. Kravit explained, is usefulness and efficiency. A parkour practitioner, or traceur, trains his or her body and mind to be able to get from Point A to Point B in the quickest way possible in order to be useful to others.

"If someone is in a burning building, you're not going to necessarily have to walk up all the stairs or take an elevator up," Mr. Kravit said. "You might find a new way to get up and save that person." ...

Parkour, along with its cousin freerunning, is a burgeoning discipline in the United States, one popular among athletic young men with limitless energy and bodies like Gumby. It is like skateboarding without the board, a set of movements designed to allow the practitioner to pass fluidly and often beautifully through an urban environment without hindrance from obstacles like railings, walls and even parking garages. It has attracted adherents through documentaries, YouTube videos, commercials, Madonna's latest tour and the opening sequence of the recent James Bond movie, "Casino Royale," which features Sébastien Foucan, the founder of freerunning, bouncing off cranes and rooftops like a SuperBall.

It almost makes me want to go outside and try it myself.

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