Extreme Sports - Pushing body to the limits
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Extreme Sports - Pushing body to the limits
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Space jumping, bullfighting, slackline, windsurf, hiking, water rafting... means "Extreme Sports " ? Basically many types of sports can be considered by some of us "Extreme" but in reality those people which are actually perform them saying that  ...are just usual sports. So how we define them ?
The origin of the term "extreme sports" from "sports" may date to the 1950s in the appearance of a phrase usually, but  wrongly, attributed to Ernest Hemingway.




The phrase is:
    "There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."

The implication of the phrase was that the word "sport" defined an activity in which one might be killed. The other  activities being termed "games". The phrase may have been invented by either writer Barnaby Conrad or automotive author Ken  Purdy.
Personally i like more this "definition" : ANY sport which can provoke  serious  injuries or death should be considered as  "extreme sport" .This is my definition and I've added "serious injuries" because according with some "definitions" of  different peoples national sport like : corrida bullfighting or Pamplona Bull Run (San Fermin) are not included in those lists but personally i consider as being more deathly then ...snorkeling, scootering and street luge or mountain biking. Now of course if we judge many sport CAN provoke serious injuries even football, basketball, etc  ...the only one which i'm thinking now as being safest (regarding physical injuries) is ...chase ! :)


Other definitions are (on wikipedia) :
"An extreme sport (also called freesport, action sport, and adventure sport) is a popular term for certain activities  perceived as having a high level of inherent danger.These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical  exertion, and highly specialized gear or spectacular stunts.



The definition of an extreme sport is not exact — for example, although studies show that road cycling ranks as the sport  with the highest number of injuries,it is not considered an extreme sport because it is not counter-cultural. The term's origin is also unclear, but it gained popularity in the 1990s when it was picked up by marketing companies to promote the X  Games.



While use of the term "extreme sport" has spread far and wide to describe a multitude of different activities, exactly which  sports are considered 'extreme' is debatable. There are however several characteristics common to most extreme sports.
While not the exclusive domain of youth, extreme sports tend to have a younger-than-average target demographic. Extreme sports are rarely sanctioned by schools.Extreme sports tend to be more solitary than traditional sports .  
(Rafting and paintballing are notable exception, as they are done in teams.) In addition, beginning extreme athletes tend to work on their craft without the guidance of a coach (though some may hire a coach later).

Activities categorized by media as extreme sports differ from traditional sports due to the higher number of inherently uncontrollable variables. Athletes in these activities compete not only against other athletes, but also against environmental obstacles and challenges. These environmental variables are frequently weather and terrain related, including wind, snow, water and mountains. Because these natural phenomena cannot be controlled, they inevitably affect the outcome of  the given activity or event.



In a traditional sporting event, athletes compete against each other under controlled circumstances. While it is possible to create a controlled sporting event such as X Games, there are environmental variables that cannot be held constant for all athletes. Examples include changing snow conditions for snowboarders, rock and ice quality for climbers, and wave height and shape for surfers.

Whilst traditional sporting judgment criteria may be adopted when assessing performance (distance, time, score, etc.), extreme sports performers are often evaluated on more subjective and aesthetic criteria.This results in a tendency to reject unified judging methods, with different sports employing their own ideals and indeed having the ability to evolve their assessment standards with new trends or developments in the sports.


Some classification for extreme sports was made in 2004, by Joe Tomlinson based on sports which can that take place in air,  land, and water:

Nine air sports are mentioned including: BASE jumping, bungee jumping, gliding, hang gliding, high wire, ski jumping, sky  diving, sky surfing, and sky flying.

Eighteen land sports including: indoor climbing, adventure racing, aggressive inline skating, BMX, caving, motocross, extreme  skiing, freestyle skiing, land and ice yachting, mountain biking, mountain boarding, outdoor climbing, sandboarding,  skateboarding, snowboarding, snowmobiling, speed biking, speed skiing, scootering and street luge.


Here i would add some of them from my understanding  :  
- Bull run, rodeo (bulls or horse), street car racing, Slackline - Walking on a suspended rope between 2 points - usually  mountains, clifs, etc.


Fifteen water sports including: barefoot water skiing, cliff diving, free-diving, jet skiing, open water swimming, powerboat  racing, round the world yacht racing, scuba diving, snorkeling (really ?), speed sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, whitewater kayaking,  windsurfing, and kitesurfing.



Also i think that here in these 3 main categories we can add many "extreme sports"
The implication of the phrase was that the word "sport" defined an activity in which one might be killed. The other  activities being termed "games". The phrase may have been invented by either writer Barnaby Conrad or automotive author Ken  Purdy.


In recent decades the term extreme sport was further promoted by X Games, a multi-sport event created and developed by  ESPN.The first X Games (known as 1995 Extreme Games) were held in Newport, Providence, Mount Snow, and Vermont in the United  States.

What motivates people to do it ?

On the first look i would say adrenaline, but as any sport some are doing for popularity, to become famous, other to  demonstrate their capabilities on extreme conditions ... or just ...
Eric Brymer also found that the potential of various extraordinary human experiences, many of which parallel those found in  activities such as meditation, was an important part of the extreme sport experience. Those experience put the participants outside their comfort zone and are often done in conjunction with adventure travel.





A feature of such activities in the view of some is their alleged capacity to induce an adrenaline rush in  participants.However, the medical view is that the rush or high associated with the activity is not due to adrenaline being  released as a response to fear, but due to increased levels of dopamine, endorphins and serotonin because of the high level  of physical exertion.Furthermore, a recent study suggests that the link to adrenaline and 'true' extreme sports is tentative.





Sources(text and photos) :

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