It is with deep sorrow that I read of the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili during a luge training run. Representing ones country at elite level is an honour and this is a sad loss of a great competitor.
Extreme sport obviously involves risk. Risk isn’t unusual in sport though it is particularly identifiable in extreme sport. The concept of risk in extreme sport is however not, as many think, about wanting to do oneself harm. It is instead more about a sense of achievement and accomplishment felt after undertaking an extreme experience and having pushed oneself beyond the normal limits.
For those who engage in extreme sport, the activity is thrilling. Extreme sport participants can be identified as sensation seekers who crave thrills and adrenalin rousing activities. However thrill seeking it is not about sacrificing risk.
Participants of extreme sports are aware of the importance of minimizing risk through comprehensive preparation, technical knowledge and understanding one’s own limits. The aim is always to avoid injury. The focus on minimizing risk sets extreme sports participants apart from pure thrill seekers.
Extreme sport is thrilling and there is an adrenalin rush that comes from participating in the winter Olympic sports. Every competitor knows that there is also a degree of danger. However, the thrill, the risk and the challenge are all a part of what makes extreme sports exciting to participate in and exciting to watch. Competitors take a calculated risk and accidents and injuries are usual avoided by use of the right equipment, through training and experience as well as employing good mental strategies.