Didi Alaoui celebrates the moment that rewards years of effort
© Mauro Puccini/Red Bull Content Pool

Moroccan freerunner Didi Alaoui – the kid who dared to dream big

Didi Alaoui’s victory at Red Bull Art of Motion was a triumph of self-belief. Here’s how he came from nothing to win the most important event in freerunning.
Written by Joe Batchelor
Published on

The snapshot:

Here’s the moment Didi Alaoui realised all his struggles and sacrifices had been worth it – as the 24-year-old from the northeastern Moroccan town of Oujda celebrated overall victory at Red Bull Art of Motion, the biggest event in freerunning.
Freerunning · 3 min
Men's winning run
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The big picture:

Alaoui’s rise to the top of sport is a triumph of self-belief. From discovering the sport on YouTube, Alaoui trained by himself every day in the sand, with no gym or coaches to guide him.

The journey:

His desire and persistence paid off and his life changed in 2016 when he won a gymnastics scholarship in Denmark that kick-started his career.
Didi Alaoui of Morocco performs during finals at the Red Bull Art of Motion freerunning competition in Matera, Italy on October 5, 2019
Alaoui had to throw down a huge final run after mistakes in his heat

The sacrifice:

Alaoui had to make a big sacrifice to take his place at Art of Motion – giving up his coaching job just to get the necessary time off. “The manager said that if I missed work, I wouldn't have a job when I came back. I quit, which was a big risk, as I didn’t have money to pay rent and I knew there was no going back.”

The dream:

Having been forced to leave his parents and five siblings behind, he dedicated the victory to them. He said: “The win was not only about me, but for everyone back home from my country – for everyone that has a dream that thinks something is impossible.”
Didi Alaoui celebrates his win at the Red Bull Art of Motion freerunning competition in Matera, Italy on October 5, 2019
Didi Alaoui celebrates