What’s going on guys, it’s A, here with something a little bit special this evening.
I stumbled upon this interview with a Oleg Vorslav on youtube a while ago. The thing is: the interview is completely in Russian. So unless you are a fluent speaker, there’s really no way for you to enjoy the video.
The sound quality is low, and the youtube cc translation is nonsense… (see for yourself)
…so I will translate it for you, word for word.
But before we get started, who is Oleg Vorslav?
If you do Parkour or Freerunning, he needs no introduction.
David Belle is the Father of Parkour
Oleg Vorslav is the Father of Freerun
Oleg Vorslav starred in a video that went viral, of freerunning in Latvia. Freerunning wasn’t big or popular back then – no one has seen anything like it. (watch it here)
The video was extremely well made, featuring a soundtrack, great camera work, and stunts, at a level no one has seen up to that point. It was so good in fact, it remains one of the best videos to this day.
Now I’ve had some salty professional freerun/parkour guys tell me that the video is crap, the form is crap, blah blah blah. Listen:
Oleg was(and still is) ahead of his time. The video accumulated millions of views. He was ahead of the game. A solid decade ahead. I haven’t met him in person yet, however it’s on the list.
So without further ado, I bring to you: A Rare interview with Oleg Vorslav (In English)
(I’ll abbreviate the names, IT for interviewers, O for Oleg)
Oleg: Cmon, ask away
Interviewer: So Parkour, is inherently dangerous. What qualities should you possess? Many people watch the videos, and want to learn.
IT2: To really practice this seriously and not…
IT1: …and not just try to roll around
O: Well firstly, I personally do not do Parkour. I don’t know what to call what I do. What is Parkour?
IT: What do you call what you do? O: Nothing.
IT: So you just do things you like in life, and others call it Parkour?
O: Well, Yeah… Others always decide a lot for you.
IT: Well you don’t mind that others decide a lot for you?
O: Yeah. I just don’t think about it.
IT: Alright, well then, next question: To achieve some kind of results in parkour or surpassing obstacles, How much should you train? How often?
O: I don’t try to achieve results.
IT: Wait a minute, do you have some personal vision of results you would like to achieve? For you this is a result.
O: I don’t know what I want to achieve. In Life.
IT: Well we are talking specifically about the hobby others call “Parkour”
IT3: He really doesn’t try to achieve any results, that is a difficult question you’re asking. He’s popular in Russia because his name is similar to a pop singer.
O: Ask away, I’ll answer
IT: Ok, question goes like this: To be in your form, how much do you train?
IT2: Is it true you quit school? O: Yes
IT2: How come you quit school? Why?
O: Why did I quit? It all happened spontaneously, it just happened.
IT2: Was school in the way of anything?
O: No. To me at that time, I didn’t like it. Simply, I was tired of having to endure that I go there. So I just stopped going. That’s it, that simple… Of course it’s simple to stop going, however later, opinions emerge from the sidelines, and it become more complicated to not go.
IT2: You are popular in Russia. Are you afraid people will follow your example and quit school?
O: That is a very old question, do I worry people will follow my example…
IT2: Well you really are an example to them, right now, you will go into the gym, and everyone will recognize you. And everyone will know that it’s you.
O: I know. I am selfish in a way. I don’t want for people to follow my example. I think – for myself. Live – my own way. I don’t ask that someone be like me or live like me
IT: Have you seen District B13 Ultimatum? The sequel? Would you like to star in something similar? Have you seen the first District B13?
O: I have seen it IT2: Really good film, straight cool?
O: Straight cool… It depends on who you ask. Not for everyone is it straight cool. It all depends on the view. Someone might think I’m cool, someone else might think I’m a retard.
IT: Would you like to star on the role of a traceur?
O: I don’t really plan anything at all, everything is spontaneous.
IT2: Did you enjoy working with Madonna?
O: That’s the past. We worked fast. Hop and done, there’s all the work.
IT: How was Madonna?
O: She was like a mother, because I was little back then, I was 16. I didn’t feel like I was at work.
IT: How was she as a person?
O: Just like anyone here. You, you, you over there filming. I don’t want to judge how she it. Not my place to judge her.
IT2: You don’t like giving interviews?
O: I never do. I have nothing to give. I haven’t answered your questions in the way that you want. I know the kind of answers you are looking for and I cannot give them to you.
IT2: Do you think people pretend to be different than they are, so that other will like them?
O: Well that is money. I’m not going to say I was like this my whole life. I pretended a lot, also for money. I wasn’t like this always, now I am.
IT2: How old are you? O: 23 IT2: What age do you really feel?
O: I don’t know. I don’t believe in age a little bit. Time. I don’t believe in time. That it goes. It doesn’t matter to me how old I am, how old you are, how old they are. For example, how old are you? IT2: 28 O: Doesn’t matter.
IT:Do you still live at home?
O: No. Well I do live there, but I am never there.
IT2: Where were you born? O: I was born in Russia. IT: Then moved to Latvia?
O: Yes, a long time ago. I don’t really remember. I went to school in Russia at first, then moved. I always said yes, But I was always quiet. I’d say: “Ok I’ll do it”, I didn’t even say Ok, I just did.
IT: Do you consider yourself a disciplined person?
O: It’s not up to me to decide. Others will decide. To someone I’m like this, to someone else I’m like that. I don’t try to put myself into a frame. I don’t try to be nice.
IT: How do you make a living?
IT2: There seems to be two opinions. One group thinks it’s only a hobby, another that it is a life, money, and a career.
O: Of course I think about it. Thoughts come into my head. They just show up. For example I start running low on food, and I begin thinking. I can’t just run off into the woods and catch squirrels there. Then I have a need. I get certain offers, and I agree to them. I don’t say why I agree, but in the subconscious I know I need money. Then, after, I think, maybe this will be cool. I am one who could live my whole life in one place. Without traveling.
IT2: You haven’t been to Krasnoyarsk before that is clear, but where else have you been? Where have you been invited?
O: Saint Petersburg, they were filming a T.V. series, In Moscow, three times, to jump. Now Krasnoyarsk.
IT: Where after here?
O: London, England, however these plans, are not my plans, people just ask me and I go there. Where would I want to go? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.
IT2: You’re trying to sample everything, to later understand?
O: I don’t think about what will be. You’re asking what I dream about to be in my life. I try not to dream. I believe in dreams, fantasies, to be like this or like that, but still try to keep myself, most importantly, right here, right now. For some people it’s important, what you’re asking, for me I don’t even think about it. I’m just talking…
O: Anything else? IT2: No, Thank you.
IT3: There are several TV crews out front, however it seems to me they will replace Oleg’s philosophy with their own text.
O: I’ll just pretend I don’t speak Russian.
There you have it guys, Thanks for being here.
All the Best