A true yamakasi from Toulouse, Lilou Ruel is the world champion in Parkour and “Freerun”. With spins, rolls or somersaults, these two coherent disciplines move as quickly as possible while performing acrobatics.
Above all, don’t look down. Faced with more than 16 meters of vacuum, Lilou Ruel’s muscles begin to paralyze. The Toulousaine may have prepared her jump for more than a year, in front of the abyss, she is still as impressed. A length of 4.5 meters separates it from its objective. The pressure begins to mount. “In the world of Parkour, it’s called Manpower. This is the most famous jump. I want to be the first woman to achieve it,” admits the 18-year-old prodigy.
Lilou Ruel remembers her training. Numerous sessions of mental and physical preparations. The Toulousaine has already wanted to try the “Manpower”. She gave up several times, for fear of falling more than 16 meters high. “All of a sudden, I cleared my head. My brain disconnects and I jump,” says the young champion. This time it’s the right one. With a two-foot impulse, then a roll reception, Lilou Ruel managed a jump of 4.5 meters in length and height.
The new face of Parkour
The young Toulouse native is a pioneer in her sport. At the age of 9, already a little daredevil, she was doing somersaults in her garden. “I was introduced to Parkour, I immediately loved it. From the height of my 1m40, I was the smallest, but above all the only girl in my club. I immediately understood that Parkour was made for me,” recalls the champion. The years go by and Lilou Ruel masters the different figures. She even won medals and a world champion title in September 2021.
In a predominantly male sport, Lilou Ruel flourishes and even creates her own style. “I’m starting to feel close to ‘Freerun’, a discipline that consists of moving around while planning artistic movements,” she admits. His inspirations are many. Breakdance, contemporary or classical dance, it uses different styles and adopts new approaches. “It’s more art than sport. We can create unique things with our body in motion”.
On social networks, it is not uncommon to see a few dance steps performed with figures known as somersaults or twists. Lilou Ruel is also very present on applications like Instagram. For her, it’s one of the aspects of the profession of “freerunner”: “Shootings, sponsors or clips, social networks allow me to participate in many projects. In our discipline, it’s not just the competitions that count.
An inspiring figure
With these artistic and acrobatic movements, Lilou Ruel is a model. It democratizes a sport that is still too little feminine. Even if it was never her first fight: “I want to inspire, but it was never in a feminist but. Many want to make it a cause. Me, I’m just proud to receive messages from girls, but also from boys who congratulate me on my work.
After this legendary leap, the Toulousaine still has many projects. Without forgetting her artistic discipline, she approaches the cinematographic world. “I would like to become a stuntwoman for action movies. I have already approached a world-renowned school. This is my new objective, ”confides the Toulouse full of ambition.