One of the best parkour athlete’s in the world, Ryan Doyle, visited the beautiful, volcanic Greek island, Santorini, famous for its magical atmosphere and breathtaking views, to discover it’s a top parkour destination. We enjoyed working together since the conditions were almost perfect.
Ryan Doyle, transforms the Greek island of Santorini in the most natural unique terrain for parkour. For some, Parkour is considered to be a hobbie, for others an art and for the majority a mix of both the above and it’s summarized in overcoming natural and artificial obstacles by using only human power. “The aim is to go from one point to another, finding you own path, overcoming any obstacles. Parkour is a way of thinking, a way of living and Santorini is a special place where I can show you a window into my way of living”, says Doyle.
The top athlete arrived in Santorini for the production of an advertising spot which will be broadcasted globally and an international documentary. Having practiced parkour in the most industrial, urban environments, Ryan found himself performing dangerous stunts and jumps between the picturesque, beautiful white houses and the traditional, paved narrow streets of the island of Santorini, that hang over the steep rocks of caldera with a view to the unique sunset of Oia. “I only knew Santorini from card postals… its magic, like a theatre set and I feel amazed to explore such a mysterious place”.
Guarded by a sleepless volcano, the ancient steep cliffs and the deep blue of the Aegean Sea, the island of Santorini offered Doyle an unforgettable parkour ride, free from any restrictions and delays. The modern history of one of the most contemporary sports has been recorded, here, by Ryan Doyle taking, even for a while, the eyes of the island’s visitors away from the world famous Santorini sunset.
WHO IS RYAN DOYLE?
Ryan Doyle (born September 22, 1984), from Liverpool, UK, is a world champion free runner, after winning the Red Bull Art of Motion competition in 2007, with a strong interest in martial arts. He started free running professionally when he was 18. He is known for explosive flips, spins, and other acrobatic moves harvested from a background as a renowned martial arts champion.
Ryan is known in Liverpool as one of the founders of and teachers at Airborn Entertainment, who run classes aimed at teaching martial arts to children. He is also currently a part of the WFPF.
His Youtube videos have gained him a lot of recognition, with Crazy Park Day exceeding 150,000 views.
Ryan is a Red Bull athlete and is pioneering the way forward for upcoming athletes, bringing his own experiances with the philosophical benefits of living and training without fear.
On October 6, 2007 Ryan took part in the first Red Bull Art of Motion competition in Vienna, Austria. He attempted a double cork from height onto a thick crash mat from a 12-foot drop, but missed the crash mat and landed on concrete causing his shin bone to snap in two.
Before the operation he was warned that it was a limb-threatening break. He had a metal plate on his fibula and a 30cm bar down the core of his shin bone. Clear footage of the accident wasn’t released until 2 years later. He was awarded first place for his effort.
After returning home and considering giving up free running, he realised that it was his life and there was no way he could give up, so through his determination he was able to get back on his feet and start free running again.
Ryan has also achieved many titles in Martial Arts Tricking Tournaments. He first became the Nation Extreme Tricks champion in 2006, then again in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Doyle was the winner of the 3rd episode of the MTV series Ultimate Parkour Challenge in 2010.
Famous poets have sung about Santorini island, the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea located north of Crete, about 200 km southeast from Greece’s mainland. Human presence on this island is dated from the middle of the 3rd millennum B.C. and it continued till volcano eruption around 1500 B.C. which entirely buried the island. From that point all traces of human activity vanishes until the end of the 13th century B.C. Initialy the island was called Strongyle (The Round One) and later it was named Kalliste (The Fairest One). Later on the Lacedaemonians arrived and renamed the island after their leader, Theras. The name Santorini was given after the Fourth Crusade (1204) after a small chapel of Agia Irini (Santa Irene) which is located, according to some sayings, at Perrisa while others say it was at Riva on Therasia. In 1821, Santorini with its shipping power, took part in the fight for independence from the Turks, and in 1830, the island became part of the independent Greek state.
The caldera is circular in shape and it is entirely filled with water. In fact, it is the only sunken caldera in the world. It resembles to a lagoon as the water depth here is 400 meters. This caldera is surrounded by gigantic cliffs on top of which beautiful villages have been constructed, and nearly 14000 people are situated in 13 villages around the island.
After the 1956 earthquake there was a huge decrease in the population resulting in an economic catastrophe. Towards the end of the 1970s however, tourism began to develop, bringing economic relief to the island. The Santorini island can be reached by plane from Athens in about 40 minutes, or by ferry boat from the port of Piraeus, Thessaloniki or Crete from aproximetly 5-9 hours depending on the ferry and the ports of call. The island itself owes its very existence to the volcano. The most recent eruption occurred in 1950 building up two small islands within the caldera, Palea and Nea Kameni. These islands represent the volcano’s most recent activity. The marvelous dry climate and continuous sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colours that give the visitor the exceptional advantage of reaching the interior of the volcano by boat. Long periods of consecutive rainy days are not common in Santorini, even during the winter, and the sky does not remain cloudy for more than a few days in a row, as it does in other regions of the world. Red and black volcanic pebbles lay the shores of Santorini beaches and steep cliffs provide a picturesque ambience. The most famous is the Red beach, while particularly popular are Perissa, Kamari and Perivolos.
Poets have written about it, artists attempt to capture its beauty. Nothing can quite describe the unsurpassed magic of Santorini, and today Santorini is one of the most popular holiday destinations worldwide. The capitol is Fira built on the Caldera cliffs on the west coast of the island.
One of the major cultural events of Santorini, Greece is the Festival of Jazz music which has been established for the last 6 years and takes place during the Greek hot summer months.