Scott Young is a thrill seeker unlike any other. Most adventurers are content with just traveling the world, but this young daredevil takes the phrase ‘living on the edge’ to a whole new level. He actually performs handstands on top of skyscrapers and other tall buildings in every city that he visits. Scott climbs to the very edge of buildings up to 40 storeys high (that’s nearly 500 foot) and hangs up-side-down. And get this – he doesn’t use any safety ropes or nets. He only carries a small camera strapped to his foot, to record the vertigo-inducing view below.
25-year-old Scott is a native of Basingstoke, a large town in northeast Hampshire in England. He has been a professional freerunner since the age of 15, which means that he performs stunts like climbing tall urban buildings and jumping between rooftops. Scott has starred in films like The Amazing Spiderman and is now a part of the 3RUN team of acrobats. But he’s currently working on his pet project called ‘Handstands in High Places’. So far, he has filmed himself performing handstands in three countries – England, China and India. His latest pictures are from the edge of an old, derelict 20-storey building in New Delhi. This was by far the most dangerous stunt he’s performed – purely because of the bad condition of the building. But Scott was pretty nonchalant about the whole affair.
“We were in India filming and I just thought, ‘Why Not?’ It was scary but I’m very confident with my body and what I can do,” he said. According to Scott, the project is a mind game. “It’s more of a mental thing than anything else – you’ve just got to focus your mind on what you’re doing, not what you think might happen. When you do a handstand, you have to focus on the ground in front of you to keep your balance. If it’s only a few feet away, that’s fine, but I look right down to the bottom of the building – it’s so far I just have to block it out of my mind.”
Back home, Scott tried an equally bizarre stunt – he balanced himself on a car park roof, on a fence that was only a couple of inches wide. “This was more of a technical challenge, because the flat top of the fence was only as wide as my thumb,” he said. “Plus, if I’d fallen off the side, I would have probably died and my mum would have killed me because of the scandal it would cause.” Shortly after this, Scott attempted to perch himself quite precariously on the edge of a 40-storey skyscraper in Shanghai (about 480 foot). Even his teammates begged him to put on a harness, but he wouldn’t hear of it. He apparently can’t get enough of the adrenaline rush that accompanies these gravity-defying stunts.
Naturally, Scott’s mother Samantha Young is worried sick for his safety. She got very upset when he showed her the first video he filmed, so he stopped telling her about his activities now. But he isn’t exactly invincible. “I’ve had a few injuries in my time,” he said. “I’ve torn ligaments and things in my shoulder, but they’re usually just repetitive injuries rather than from bad falls.” His worst fall came during a film premier – his stunt went horribly wrong and he ended up on the crash mat with a broken ankle. The irony, he said, is that he might have escaped unharmed if he had actually landed on the hard concrete floor instead!