Colorado is known far and wide for its fleet-footed and dexterous athletes, and it's time to add a new name to that list: Ryan Ford.
Ford, a sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is the driving force behind the Colorado contingent of parkour, the sport/philosophy of using high-speed acrobatics to efficiently flow up, over and around an obstacle-strewn environment [check out Ford's video above for a primer]. He's also quickly becoming one of the country's top parkour stars; in the past two weeks, he's been featured in two major magazine articles on the sport: one in Time magazine and one in the New Yorker.
I wrote one of the first stories on Ford in the Boulder Weekly; back then he was just a fresh-faced high school kid. Much has changed in two years.
"We are still happy to work with any reporter and publication that will take the time to learn about parkour and represent it in a positive and accurate way," Ford wrote to me this week in an e-mail that screamed of thoroughly adept PR savvy.
Ford's busy updating the Colorado Parkour website, helping to teach packed parkour classes at the Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder, even working on a biomechanics project for school on the efficiency of different parkour landing moves. He has plans to eventually open his own gym—a facility largely devoted to parkour.
"Big things will be happening with parkour in the future, and we are watching the launching platform come into place right now," he predicted in his e-mail. Knowing Ford, once he hits that platform, the sky's the limit. — Joel Warner
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.