Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

The Development of Extreme Sports

Posted on October 24, 2015 by Wolf Popovic

xgamesExtreme sports have always been there. From the ancient gladiator fights in the famous Colosseum, through marathons and rock climbing, finally evolving into forms people recognize and participate in today. The adrenaline in our head and that feeling of accomplishment when you make it happen are pretty awesome for many. Degrees of risks and type of challenges we take are obviously different. Some of us would not break a sweat surfing in the sky or kayaking in whitewater rapids. Others, who prefer slightly less extreme way to go, would choose mountain biking or surfing. Nowadays, people even go for small doses of adrenaline by playing mobile games with real money. The rush is even greater with a mobile casino bonus. Variety is there, no doubt about it.

How it all started
If we stick with recent history and not go way too back, marathon runners and rock climbers were considered as modern gladiators in 1970s. Making it to the end of a 42.195 km long race was quite a challenge. Defeating endlessly high mountains was not for everyone back then. But, as more people started accomplishing both challenges, the meaning extreme evolved. Marathons were transformed to triathlons and multi-day cycling events appeared. Extreme skiing and snowboarding also started to enjoy a steady rise in popularity. People became more creative and wanted to challenge themselves even more. Sky, water or on the ground – limits seized to exist.    

When abnormal became normal
Once ESPN started broadcasting “Winter & Summer X Games” in 1997, they had around 8.000 viewers. Today, that number soared to 35.4 million. “Extreme sports” channel was also created and is solely devoted to the extreme sports. Some of unreal endurance challenges like the ones which include electric shocks and various types of actual human pain are also up there. Many companies, like “Red Bull” for example, include extreme sports in their marketing strategies and as a way of developing relationships with their customers.

Many adrenaline junkies will very simply explain you the reason behind the popularity of extreme sports. Our lives have become way to quiet and the lack of adrenaline in our daily routines is becoming disappointing for an increasing number of people. They are in continuous search for new ways of expressing themselves. They tackle down a challenge and are on to the next one immediately. But the bar is placed higher with every new task.

Beyond just staying fit
Unsurprisingly, there seems to be an increased interest in staying fit and being in shape these days. Extreme sports require intense preparation, endurance and bravery. Some train to stay fit and healthy. Others realize they are becoming stronger and want to take things to the next level. They develop passion for a certain sporting challenge and simply go for it. Sure, it can be dangerous and usually it is. Nobody is forced to go extreme; people do it because they want to.

Keep in mind that new events are popping up every day and do not be surprised with something called Ironman distance or “Tough Mudder”. That’s already out there for quite some time now. Who knows what’s next for these adrenaline seekers.

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