SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Ronnie Shalvis has become a real life video game hero.
The Salt Lake City stuntman is the star of an eloborate re-creation of the extremely popular video game, Assassin's Creed. Filmmaker Devin Graham created a guerrilla-style video of Shalvis leaping and running through the streets of downtown Salt Lake demonstrating the sport of parkour. The video has received over 19 million hits on YouTube and has made Shalvis a star.
"I had no idea that it would get anywhere near 19 million hits," Shalvis said. "It's been a huge thing for me because I've gotten multiple stunt jobs from it, and I've been flown down to Los Angeles to do commercials.
"I get a lot of fan responses that are like, 'Man, you're the real Assassin's Creed!' and they want to know how they can join the brotherhood. I know how to move and train to be like one, but I don't actually assassinate people. I'm actually a pretty nice guy."
The 22-year-old Shalvis became an expert in parkour, or free running, by starting with small acrobatic tricks seven years ago, and advancing to flipping over walls and doing 15-20 foot jumps.
"Everywhere I look is like a playground," Shalvis said. "So I'll climb walls, I'll jump off of walls, I'll throw in flips to add some style."
While parkour requires a tremendous amount of athleticism and agility, it also takes a different kind of perspective.
"Most people want to just take the stairs," Shalvis said. "The goal in parkour and free running is that you aren't confined by paths. Parkour and free running have been growing like crazy."
While there are obvious risks involved, Shalvis has never suffered any serious injuries or broken bones, only a sprained ankle once in a while.
It's no surprise that Shalvis' favorite superhero is Spiderman. But he also considers himself to be a role model for kids. If done correctly, Shalvis says free running is safe and can inspire kids to not just play video games, but actually live them.
"Kids look up to you, and I feel like I have a role to help inspire kids," he said. "In today's day and age, kids are growing up just playing video games and watching TV when there's so much more we can do with ourselves. So, I like being able to reach out to kids and show that this is something you can do and how you can do it safely."
To see the entire Assassin's Creed video, click here
Ronnie Shalvis' YouTube page can be found here