Sports can be dangerous, anybody who tried any sport can vouch for that. Some sports could be inherently more dangerous than others, for example, contact sports. But, if you have watched any sport, even individual sports like tennis, you can see athletes lose their balance and fall, sometimes injuring their ankles, wrists, tendons, whichever body part gets pulled too much.
If people can get so easily injured playing regular sports, why do people decide to do extreme sports? Are extreme sports that dangerous? Let’s take a closer look.
Extreme Sports are Definitely More Dangerous Than Regular Sports
Even though people have been paralyzed playing sports like rugby and football, extreme sports take the whole ordeal to the next level. Take high altitude alpinism, where the whims of the weather can lead to your demise. Your skill and training become unimportant if an avalanche or an icefall throws you off a mountain.
Sports like downhill cycling are very dangerous because one would be going downhill, over rocky or dirt terrain, through forests even, at potentially deadly speeds. A slip up could be your downfall.
Glass Half Full – Skill Matters
Nobody who gets into extreme sports goes with the desire to do harm to themselves. As Reinhold Messner, a pioneer in high altitude alpnism once said: “There are far cheaper ways to commit suicide than an expedition to the Himalayas”.
With that, athletes train for years and years before they attempt anything extreme, by the measures of their own sport.. To most people, extreme sports are extreme simply because they take more skill than what an average person has.
A practitioner with skill and training makes an extreme thing become a daily routine. That does not eliminate the danger out of the ordeal, but it greatly reduces it.
The Athlete’s Mentality And Sometimes – Luck
Some athletes have a really practical mentality to the way they approach a project. Whether climbing a new route or hopping over a huge obstacle with a BMX, most athletes train hard and smart for their goals. There are always outliers who prefer danger and excitement to training and preparation and they are at greater risk of injury or worse.
Even when there is a lot of skill involved, things might not go the athlete’s way, not at all.
Luck and circumstances have a lot to do with how things develop, whether above 8000 meters or in a wood, going downhill. In some places, crossing the street is an extreme sport, with how wild traffic can get.
Extreme Sports Also Differ From One Another
Some view parkour as an extreme sport, while it is more of a life philosophy, where the practitioner does not have to do anything remotely dangerous, often safer than gymnastics. Free soloing, which means climbing a rock or ice face without safety gear, is absolutely deadly, where one slip means almost certain death, depending on the height, of course.
Skateboarding is relatively safe, minus the bruises, but if you constantly find ridiculous places to practice on, like the fence of a bridge, then things can get very complicated. The extreme part depends on the athlete.
To summarize, yes, extreme sports are dangerous, but the danger depends on the athlete, their choice of sport, direction in which they take it, as well as the circumstances. Some things are out of our realm of control, while others we can influence through exercise and healthier risk choices.