Video: Meet the first woman parkour athlete to run on Burj Khalifa

Professional free runner Lynn Jung had a couple of hours of training before heading to the world's tallest building for her first attempt

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 5:55 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 1:10 PM

Meet Lynn Jung, the 32-year-old professional free runner and parkour athlete. Unlike most UAE residents who are religiously clocking their 30 minutes of fitness for the Dubai Fitness Challenge, Jung challenged herself to run on the world’s tallest building.

Jung is now the first woman ever to run on Burj Khalifa after Tom Cruise’s stunt for the movie Mission Impossible.

Sponsored by adidas, the stunt highlights the sports brand’s aim to empower women and motivate people in Dubai across all genders, ages, and ethnicities.

The initiative aims to encourage women to participate in sport and put their health and wellness first with 30 minutes of exercise every day for 30 days, adidas said.

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Jung’s stunt took place on the eve of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, which began on October 29. The competitive gymnast has an extremely busy work schedule and spends all her time travelling the world to train and compete in the most prestigious competitions within the sport.

Here are some excerpts from an exclusive chat with Khaleej Times.

Born and raised in Luxembourg, Jung is currently based in Brighton, UK. Besides parkour, she enjoys running, strength training, yoga and anything that gets her out of her comfort zone.

How did you get into parkour?

I came across parkour during my time at university. Coming from a dance background I really enjoyed the creative aspect of it, but it was mainly the combination of physical and mental strength required to progress that made me fall in love with the sport more and more.

How did you prep for the Burj Khalifa run? Have you attempted anything similar before?

To be honest with you, there was not all too much prep time for this one. I had a couple of hours of training in the morning before heading to the Burj Khalifa for a first attempt. My head was in the right space for this. I knew I was in good hands and had an incredible team. I have never done anything at this height - other than skydiving which is very different. I got to see the sunset from the side of the Burj Khalifa. It doesn’t get much better than that.

What was the experience like?

It was incredible. I felt very calm and the whole experience felt very peaceful. I struggled a bit with leg numbness due to the harness being strapped tight around my thighs to help me stay in a horizontal position, but it was easy to distract myself - with the view for one and the feeling of floating in the sky for another.

What does Impossible is Nothing mean to you?

To me, impossible is nothing means striving far beyond what I believe to be my limits. To dare. To be braver and bolder than I thought I could. To say yes to anything that excites and scares me. Now that I know what it feels like to be running on the outside of the Burj Khalifa, I am hungry for more!

What are your thoughts on women in parkour?

The majority of alternative sports are heavily male dominant. Parkour is no exception, but the female parkour community is growing stronger proving that parkour is not a sport for men but for all. Learning how to physically overcome obstacles holds the potential to help reduce inequalities on a societal level by breaking down the belief that women are not physically capable of greatness.

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