By Rebecca Drew
WATCH as a thrill-seeking London teenager performs dangerous-looking flips and tricks from stairways and underpasses in front of bemused policemen at some of the Capital’s most recognisable locations.
The incredible footage shows Samson Parker (17) from London, artfully landing a jump in the path of oncoming traffic at Waterloo, leaping onto metal staircase railings at a busy Southbank in front of the London Eye and scrambling across rooftops in Aldgate.
Samson is a trainee quantity surveyor, and has been practicing parkour for four-years now, he first got into the sport by copying the moves he saw on YouTube.
“I find that the best spots to practice this sport are mainly in central London, especially in Waterloo,” he said.
“It can get a bit busy at times for example, people from work will be walking through the city or tourists will be making their way through London, but the majority of them sometimes take a minute and watch – but we don’t notice it.
“I’ve been training for nearly four years, a very long time however feels so short. I find the longer you train the more you feel comfortable when moving, as in I know what my limits are and also know how to push my limits.
“Every time I go out training there is always something to overcome, whether it’s something big over a drop or something technical on floor level – there are always things that you are scared or challenged to do but most of the time it is just a mental challenge not physical.
“Majority of athletes when trying to overcome something that they are scared of can physically achieve it but mentally they may not be in the right mind set do it, when overcoming this situation, it is a big drive and such a good feeling to have as you’ve pushed yourself over something that you thought you couldn’t do.
“For me, I chase that feeling over and over and that is what progression is all about.”
Samson receives mixed reactions from the public and does not want to see parkour in the Olympics, instead he would like it to remain an underground sport.
“The public’s reaction is very mixed towards the sport – some think what we do is amazing, take pictures and videos and even ask us about the sport, however on the other hand you can get some people thinking it’s very stupid and we are ‘risking our lives’,” he added.
“Usually those are the people who don’t understand the sport and only see the stereotypical clickbait side of the sport; although I couldn’t care what they think.
“If there was any message I would like to pass on, in my opinion, I would like to keep parkour an underground sport and not put it in the Olympics, as it attracts the wrong kind of crowd and people would get the wrong idea of what parkour is.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/samsonparkour