© Bram Berkien

Bart van der Linden became world champion freerunning in 2016. This year he will be organising Hop the Blok, Eindhoven’s freerunning festival, for the fifth edition during EMOVES.

This is a series of portraits of the people behind EMOVES, Eindhoven’s annual urban culture festival.

Last summer he performed at Tianmen Mountain in China. Bart shows a video on his phone of how he ‘freeruns’ down a staggeringly long staircase full of obstacles. Fast and super agile. The public cheers when – two minutes later – he reaches the finish line unharmed. Google his name and you’ll find countless videos in which Bart makes the most amazing jumps in the most exotic places. Freerunning is his life, and that brings him to all corners of the world.

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But Eindhoven is his home base. This is where he trains and where he co-organises Hop the Blok, the two-day festival where freerunners from all over the world come to the Klokgebouw at Strijp-S.

There are three variants to freerunning, he says. Style, skills, and speed. The challenges of Hop the Block revolve around speed. In a ‘parkour’ with parallel lanes, two participants compete against each other. The sport looks dangerous, but it’s all about safety and control. “You have to be fully comfortable with what you do, so no reckless movements.” Besides professionals, Hop the Block is meant for everyone with an interest in the sport. … Continue reading

Photos: Bram Berkien

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Author profile picture Renske Mehra is a writer. She makes understandable and interesting stories about difficult subjects.