Eassy on Should Extreme Sports be Banned or not
Extreme Sports: Are They Worth The Risk?
Broken bones, head trauma, shark attacks, and casualties all while playing the sport you love. Is
it worth it? With extreme sports come extreme risks. There are many controversies over these
sports as to whether they are ethical or not and why anybody with the right mindset would
consider participating in such events. These sports often involve high speed, great heights, a high
level of physical exertion, and highly specialized gear or spectacular stunts. Some popular and
quickly growing extreme sports in today’s society are snowboarding, speed and freestyle skiing,
surfing, sky diving, mountain climbing, and wake boarding.
Many researchers, psychologists, and sociologists look for the reasons athletes choose to participate in these high risk sports rather than more traditional sports such as baseball and football. A few researchers argue that there are specific demographics that are more likely to engage in these activities. Also, they believe that
people with certain personality traits are more likely to participate in high risk activities.
My goal is to better understand why people choose to participate in such high risk sports even though they
carry extreme risks with them. After recognizing the dangers, people are able to decrease the
likelihood of those risks by educating the public, using proper safety equipment, and
implementing emergency plans in case dangerous situations outbreak.
The athletes who participate in extreme sports often times value their specific and individual
ways of practicing them. In his memoir, Bode, Bode Miller emphasizes his passion to speed ski
because he uses his own methods of performing to be the fastest skier in each competition-
plain and simple. Knowing which group of people is more likely to participate in high risk sports
not only benefits the public’s curiosities, but it also benefits the business side of the respective
sports. By determining who is most interested in these types of sports, companies can make
campaigns and advertisements that are compelling to that specific demographic and ultimately
increase their economic revenues.
Due to the reputation of extreme sports, they are often times
viewed as daredevil activities with unnecessary risks. That being said, a lot of negative
speculation revolving around the sport is common in today’s society. Various news stories,
movies, and other sources in the media help spread the impression of the risks and dangers of the
sports. Although the public hears mostly about all the negative effects of extreme sports, there
are a variety of ways to decrease one’s risk of injuries through proper precautions and practice.
In saying that, there are also many benefits to extreme sports as seen in Bode Miller’s memoir, as
well as interviews with other extreme sport athletes
It is important for people to be aware of the dangers that exist in extreme sports in order for them
to take the proper precautions to avoid serious injuries. Often times, the truth is bent or
exaggerated about the activities and that they are either extremely dangerous in a way that you
are basically asking to get severely injured or killed, or that they are so laidback and carefree that
you need no training or prior experience. In reality, I believe that extreme sports lie somewhere
in between the two extremes.
By no means are they completely safe for everyone to do, but then
again they aren’t automatically going to kill or really injure a person every time. I believe that
with the proper precautions and an understanding of the risks that come along with them,
extreme sports can be enjoyed both competitively and leisurely to a certain extent.
Many researchers examine not only why people engage in extreme sports but also who
participates in them. Many times, stereotypes form about those who choose to participate in
extreme sports. Robert Fletcher takes a closer look into the idea of people being more prone to
participate in these sports according to their specific social structure.
Fletcher states, “I suggest that risk sports appeal particularly to members of the professional middle class because of such sports’ capacity to simultaneously satisfy and provide a temporary escape from a class habitus demanding continual progress through disciplined labor and deferred gratification.” In other
words, he believes that there is a significant relationship between sport and social class because it
relieves people of their stress and worries that they deal with on a daily basis
However, this theory was later proven false and that, in fact, peoples’ willingness to participate
in risk sport depended on their own personal traits and characteristics rather than their
surroundings (Fletcher 323). Personally, I feel that this idea is somewhat accurate or maybe just
a coincidence due to the fact that with my experiences at ski resorts I happened to notice more
white middle class participants above all else.
Although there is not a specific gender or sex that makes one more prone to find risk sport
appealing, there is still a typical target audience. For instance, it is a common observation that
participants tend to be young, more specifically in their late teens through their mid-thirties, and
during this specific age period people tend to be in a period of their life suitable for “adventure,
experimentation, and the avoidance of strong commitment” (Fletcher 315). According to data