By L. Behar
From the sky to the sea, the thrill, the adrenaline is contagious. Daring individuals experience these emotions regularly and religiously as they jump from a plane at 100m/h, free climb Yosemite or white-water raft. Extreme sports are for the thrill seekers who are not afraid to challenge death to a face off.
Many say that the origin of extreme sports goes back to the 1700s when skating was first discovered. However, others might say that it was in the 1950s when Ernest Hemingway, an American novelist, used the term to describe activities such as bullfighting, motor racing and mountain climbing as ‘extreme sports’. With this, any other kind of reckless activity was considered ‘child’s play’.
Often described by many athletes, extreme sports is a journey that brings thrilling emotions full of adrenaline and is different from any other feeling. Such incredible and awe striking feats are showcased in the X games or even at the Olympics. Individuals like Ashley Fiolek, a motocrosser that has conquered four WMX championships and two X games, has won gold medals despite deafness. Similarly, Ryan Sheckler, a professional American skateboarder, Kelly Slater, a professional surfer, who has had five consecutive victories, Shaun White, an American snowboarder and skater Olympic gold medalist have shaped the sport. Also, they promote it further into the athletic global stage.
Whilst extreme athletes may be perceived as adrenaline junkies and most often crazy, Alex Honnold one of the most remarkable climbers ever, explains the importance of solo climbing for him as more than just a feeling but as a lifestyle. He states that “it as a deep satisfaction (…) I’m searching more for that feeling of having done something well and being deeply content – it’s more than the quick hit of adrenaline. It’s personal.