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new playmate. Naturally, he lets the kids, who marvel at his ball handling, win in the end. “That’s how it should be,” he says. An attitude that perfectly suits his underlying approach to life. A life that might appear to outsiders as a never-ending series of challenges. “But I don’t always have to be the best,” says Jason. “I want to learn a lot of new things and as many different things as possible.” As we move on in order to explore the next Cinque Terre village, he becomes pensive and says how sad it is that children will eventually stop playing. “I really and truly miss that,” says Jason, recalling his favorite game, ‘The Ground Is Lava’, which involves crossing the room without touching the floor. “You know, freerunning is like being a kid on the playground. Running around, trying new things, and always pushing your own limits — without mental boundaries.” way are there to be overcome. Finally, after arriving at the harbor, he clenches his tiny weatherproof camera between his teeth and adds a couple of bonus stunts. “For my fans,” he explains. “They like this perspective.” Even as a child, Jason Paul filmed videos and added sound effects from computer games. Or burst milk cartons for loud special effects. Back then, he wanted to become a video game tester or a manga artist. Later, he wanted to study industrial design. If Red Bull hadn’t come along and offered the talented athlete a contract “that you couldn’t refuse”, Jason would probably be sitting in front of the computer today. But it turned out differently. “Since then, the world has become my home,” says the freerunner, who by his own choice has renounced a permanent residence. He carries everything he needs with him in a silver suitcase. On the outside is a sticker that could be understood as his motto: “Cool bro, but can you backflip?” On the inside are black clothes, durable sneakers. Why no home sweet home, Jason? “Maybe I have my father to thank for that. Many years ago he gave me that famous novel about Marco Polo, The Journeyer. Marco Polo’s astonishing tales augmented by the travel writing of the American author Gary Jennings triggered this perpetual wanderlust in me.” And what does he dream of besides leaping through the world? “A motorcycle road trip with my father would be great.” Jason doesn’t even have a motorcycle license, but he’s planning big. And there’s one more thing: “To travel through Mongolia with my girlfriend Emily, preferably on horseback.” On one of these four-legged steeds, their bodies steaming beautifully in the cold. “To sit on their muscular backs and ride through the countryside” — the thought of it elicits an adventurous smile from him. Later, when he can no longer fly through the air with such fleet-footedness, Jason wants to design clothes. Smart clothes. He’s already begun this second phase of his life on a small scale. He started a clothing label with some friends from Bangkok. “When I’m doing stunts, everything always flies out of my pockets: mobile phone, camera, keys. So I have Velcro and zippers sewn onto them.” Dinner in Corniglia, southeast of the Ligurian Riviera. Everyone is eating pasta; Jason has a salad. “You can pretty much feel three or four extra pounds with each somersault,” says the 5’11” athlete. His limit is 180 pounds, which he rigorously adheres to. Even so, after a lot of jumping about, he always treats himself to the odd scoop or two of ice cream. And so it is that the next day, as we're sitting in front of an ice cream parlor, a ball suddenly rolls towards Jason, followed by two short legs and the large eyes of a small child. The village children are playing soccer. An ancient fountain serves as the goal — and Jason as their Mercedes- AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé Freerunner Jason Paul and the Mercedes- AMG GLC 43 4MATIC Coupé are a bit like the successful symbiosis of agility and athleticism. While one of them can run up walls, the other wows with its allwheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC and a power distribution of 31 percent to the front axle and 69 percent to the rear. 91


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