Oia is spectacular. Freerunning over the traditional cliff houses of the village defies superlatives. So, save the date: on October 7, 2017, Oia will welcome the best of the best freerunners in the world and as a spectator, you will be able to see them flying over white-washed walls, domed roofs, and Orthodox church crosses like Greek gods.
First organized in 2007 in Vienna, the Red Bull Art of Motion freerunning competition is still a young event, but it manages to attract some of the most skilled male and female freerunners in the world. Names like Paul Joseph, Pavel Petkuns, Jason Paul, Marcus Gustafsson, and Dimitris Kyrsanidis are well known among practitioners of this acrobatic sport. Freerunning is a discipline founded in 2003 by Sébastien Foucan, who built upon parkour (military obstacle course training) to also include creativity and movement fluidity.
Santorini has become the favorite stage for the Red Bull Art of Motion freerunning competition of late. Since 2011, with the exception of 2012, when it took place in Lavertezzo, Switzerland, the competition has been held on Santorini. Oia’s urban architecture makes this Greek destination the perfect stage for such a challenging pastime.
In 2014 and 2015, the winner of the contest was Greek freerunner Dimitris Kyrsanidis, and Latvian Pavel Petkuns came in second. The two were favorites last year, but Bart van der Linden from The Netherlands impressed both the crowd and the judges and won the title. He was followed by Americans Alfred Scott and Joey Adrian in second and third, with Alfred Scott winning in the Best Trick category.
The schedule for the Red Bull Art of Motion 2017 competition includes four stages as follows:
- Online Qualifier: June 6 – July 6, 2017 – The seven best athletes (four men and three women) will reserve their spot in the main competition.
- Selection Jam: October 4, 2017 – The Red Bull Art of Motion judges will choose 20 athletes from the Selection Jam who will qualify to the Onsite Qualifier.
- Onsite Qualifier: October 5, 2017 – The five best athletes from this take their places at the Red Bull Art of Motion 2017 final!
- Main Competition: October 7, 2017 – Seven athletes from the Online Qualifier, five athletes from the Onsite Qualifier and the top six freerunners from Red Bull Art of Motion 2016 will compete in the final.
Red Bull Art of Motion judges will be Anan Anwar (Creativity), Gabriel Nunes (Difficulty), Sergio Cora (Flow), Kie Willis (Execution) and Marcus Gustafsson (Overall Performance). Patrick Morawetz will be the lead judge. More details and participation terms are listed on the official website.