There’s a quiet, sporting revolution happening on city streets around the world.
But as participation in these sports grows, thanks to their very little barrier to entry, what about the athletes already out there physically and mentally challenging themselves in their metropolitan surroundings?
The Olympic Channel, in conjunction with The Berrics, has officially launched Urbanity, an unprecedented new series that explores how some of the world’s best urban sports athletes draw inspiration from their city surroundings and use them in ways that not even their architects could have ever envisioned.
RED cameras, mobile phones, Go Pros, and drones have all been used in the making of the series to try and help capture athlete experiences in the most authentic way possible; lending each of the five-episodes an exciting and dogged feel.
Episode one, released on Tuesday 12th October, features urban skimboarder Adrien Raza, and follows him around the city of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.
Ever since he began riding at the age of 13 Raza has come to dominate the skimboarding contest circuit. When he isn’t competing, he and his friends are skimming around the Dutch city, transforming their surroundings into their own public park to show off their technical, and impressive, tricks.
Future episodes being released weekly include a focus on skateboarder Rachelle Vinberg.
Born and raised in Long Island, Vinberg moved to Brooklyn when she was 18 years old to study film at college. While there, the avid skater found her new city scape opened up a whole different world of skating. Her love for film and skateboarding collided after she was discovered on a subway ride into the city. Now, the 23-year-old has a Sundance film and an HBO series under her belt.
Freerunner Johan Tonnoir and the city of Paris also star in an episode of Urbanity. Training for more than 35 hours a week to stay on top of his game, Tonnoir believes that the only way to beat fear in his sport is to understand the body and the way it moves. His talent and command of the skyline has led him to feature on French television shows and star in the real-life adaptation video of Assassins Creed Unity.
Isamu Yamamoto – a 17-year-old from Japan who has been touted as a freestyle skateboarding prodigy, takes the audience on a journey through Otsu City in his episode. Inspired by the great Rodney Mullen, the so-called godfather of street skateboarding, Yamamoto shares a slice of Japanese urban life.
The five-episode series also traces the story of freestyle BMX rider Angie Marino, from Los Angeles, California. Following in the footsteps of her brother who also loved BMX, it wasn’t long that a young Marino found herself catapulted into the competitive arena. She quickly emerged as one of the leading female riders in the space and is credited for pioneering the sport all the way to the Olympic Games, where at Tokyo 2020, freestyle debuted for the first time.
How to watch 'Urbanity' on Olympic Channel
You can watch all episodes of Urbanity on Olympic Channel via Olympics.com right now.