BALESTRA Luciano
Netherlands
NED
Title
Mr
Lastname
BALESTRA
Firstname
Luciano
Gender
male
Country
Netherlands
Place of birth
Amsterdam
Year of birth
1995 (25 y.o.)
Discipline(s)
Parkour
test img
Occupation
Athlete, Business Owner, Stuntperson
Education
Psychology - University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Family
Partner Tanisha, daughter Ayana
Spoken languages
Dutch, English, Portuguese, Spanish
Club
Back2Basics Parkour [Amsterdam, NED]
Coach
Mark van Swieten [national], NED
Injuries
In July 2017 he injured his ankle and could not train for a month. (Instagram profile, 25 Aug 2017)
Start sporting career
He began freerunning in 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. "From an early age I have always been moving. I tried to climb into everything and tried to balance on everything I saw. That's why I started capoeira at the age of six, I did this for six years. I thought capoeira was great and this gave me a very good basis from which to continue working." (lucianobalestra.com, 18 Dec 2017)
Reason for taking up the sport
He began freerunning several years after taking up capoeria at age six. "I discovered freerunning when I came in contact with Planet Contra [Amsterdam, Netherlands]. They had rented a room every week where the freerunners from Amsterdam came together. I came here and I loved it. I had finally found what I had been looking for all my life. It is outdoor play for adults. It is also possible everywhere - give me a sidewalk or just a lawn and I can do something with it. I see the world as a playground." (back2basicspk.nl, 01 Jan 2018; houtensnieuws.nl, 15 Sep 2019)
Philosophy / Motto
He has compared freerunning to meditation. "You're so focused in the moment. Nothing else comes in. The only thing you focus on is the jump which is a really unique feeling that gives a lot of rest and peace. Once you've conquered one of your big fears and one of your big jumps, it's like one of the best feelings there is. I think parkour freerunning is mental training. You train your fears." (actionsportsconnection.com, 28 Aug, 2018)
Additional information
General
BUSINESS OWNER
He owns the Back2Basics Parkour business in the Netherlands. "My goal is to be totally free by striving for financial, physical, and spiritual freedom which I am working toward by building a self-sustaining company to create possibilities for freerunners worldwide, working with a team of experts who help me in my development as an athlete, and through meditation, yoga, tai chi and yoga nidra." He is also the founder of the Freerun University in Houten, the Netherlands. "I want to convey my love and passion for freerunning. I see the children who come, enjoy and quickly gain self-confidence, they learn to focus. That is part of the mental aspect of freerunning. The performance is not paramount, certainly not at a young age. In many other sports children are told: you have to do this or do that. With freerunning, it comes from yourself. It is about what makes you feel comfortable." (houtensnieuws.nl, 15 Sep 2019; Instagram profile, 10 Mar 2019; freerununiversity.com, 14 Jan 2019; muvmag.com, 01 Jan 2018)

OLYMPIC INCLUSION
He is a supporter of parkour being added to the Olympic programme. "That freerunning could become an Olympic sport would be a huge development for the sport. But if it does, I think it is very important that we maintain the pure values of freerunning. The sport really revolves around fun, passion and accessibility for everyone, and we have to make sure these values are reflected." (houtensnieuws.nl, 31 May 2019)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2019 he appeared as a freerunner in a film called 'Amsterdam Heroes', which was directed by his mother, Julia Strijland. The film focused on the lives of people living in the Dutch city. "When you can inspire people and do something good for others and can ensure that people have a better life, then you are a hero." (ccamstel.nl, 19 Jan 2019; geografie.nl, 24 May 2019, Julia Strijland Vimeo account, 15 Feb 2019)

Last update : 2020-01-29

World / Challenge Cup

2019 - FIG World Cup 2019 MONTPELLIER (FRA)

Men Freestyle
Rank Final
4
Score Final
25.000
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
26.000

2019 - FIG World Cup 2019 HIROSHIMA (JPN)

Men Speed
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
13
Score Qualif.
13.770
Men Freestyle
Rank Final
7
Score Final
21.500
Rank Qualif.
5
Score Qualif.
21.500

2019 - FIG World Cup 2019 CHENGDU (CHN)

Men Freestyle
Rank Final
8
Score Final
13.500
Rank Qualif.
6
Score Qualif.
21.500
Multisport Events / Games

2019 - World Urban Games BUDAPEST (HUN)

Men Freestyle
Rank Final
8
Score Final
11.500
Rank Qualif.
8
Score Qualif.
21.500

Videos