Tavon McVey is a professional parkour athlete and one of the best known practitioners of movement sports. Tavon was born in New York City but grew up mostly in Florida where he attended high school and college. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Physical Education, he moved back to NYC where he became involved with various movement groups including the United Nations of Parkour (UNOP).
After moving back to Florida, he began training at the gym of Olympic gold medalist David Ferreira. His first major competition came when he won the World Championships in 2003. Since then, he’s competed all over the world, winning numerous titles including multiple times at the Pan American Games and several other international competitions. He has been recognized as one of the top 10 athletes in the world by ESPN Sportscenter twice and was named one of USA Today’s “Sports Heroes” in 2006.
He currently lives in Orlando, FL with his wife and two children.
The Ultimate Tag is a tag used by some members of the movement community to identify themselves. Some believe it’s a way to show their pride or identity within the community while others feel it’s just another form of Internet trolling. While the origins of the tag are not completely certain, it is believed to have come from a popular video of a group of parkour enthusiasts in France calling themselves “The Ultimate Tag”.
The term can be used with or without the definite article (i.e. the ‘the’ in “the Ultimate Tag” or without). It can also be shortened to “ult” in some cases.
In the vast majority of cases, it is used by males although there are a few female users as well. The movement community has not reached a consensus on whether this tag should be used or not. Some groups actively protest against its use while others do not.
There are many theories and rumors as to why some people use the tag while others don’t. It is believed that some people only use it ironically. Some view it as a meme. Others believe it started as a joke that got out of hand.
It is also possible that some people use the tag as an alternative to joining other groups.
The use of the tag is not limited to video posters or forums. There are many vloggers and parkour YouTubers that incorporate the tag into their videos or titles. The most common reasons given for this are:
There are many groups that actually embrace the tag as a unifying force within the movement community. The largest of these is UNOP (United Nations of Parkour) which has over 21,000 members. Other groups include DERP (Druga Étapa de Realização Parkour), a group based in Portugal with over 5,000 members and CAPK Crew, a group based in Chile with over 4,000 members. Both of these groups are affiliated with each other.
In addition, there are several groups that are against the tag. These include: FFP (Future of Freerunning and Parkour), a group created by former members of DERP with the intention of taking it over, has over 1,000 members. DPP (Down with the Parkour Punks), a group created for the purpose of denouncing the tag, has over 3,000 members. Many other groups have similar views and some, like FFP, were created with the purpose of opposing its use.
There are also several groups that have a “neutral” stance on the tag. These include: FPS (French Parkour Squad), a group based in France with over 3,000 members. SGT (Street-Gang-Toy), a group based in United States with over 1,000 members. Neither of these groups have a known stance on the tag although many of their members use it.
Sources & references used in this article:
Parkour, anarcho-environmentalism, and poiesis by M Atkinson – Journal of sport and social issues, 2009 – journals.sagepub.com
Parkour and freerunning: Discover your possibilities by J Witfeld, IE Gerling, A Pach – 2011 – books.google.com
The Ultimate Parkour & Freerunning Book: Discover your possibilities by IE Gerling, A Pach, J Witfeld – 2013 – books.google.com
An existential phenomenological examination of parkour and freerunning by JL Clegg, TM Butryn – Qualitative research in sport, exercise and …, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Le parkour: Urban street culture and the commoditization of male youth expression by S Stapleton, S Terrio – International Migration, 2012 – Wiley Online Library