3690: A Journal of First-Year Student Research Writing




Overview: 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.

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