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eXTReMe Tracker
Thursday, February 21, 2002

This Snowboarding Chick Has Something to Say

I was watching the news on one of the cable news networks yesterday and I was annoyed by the topic. It seems that people are arguing that America is winning more medals this time around because of the addition of "extreme" sports.

I find this view extremely narrow-minded.

Yes, snowboarding was invented in America. But the entire world embraced the sport. The International Olympic committee approved the addition of snowboarding to the games - what I see as a clear proclamation of snowboarding's legitimacy. And in 1998, snowboarding made its debut at the Nagano Olympics.

I snowboard. I do not consider snowboarding an extreme sport. To me, an extreme sport includes bungee cords, the absence of safety-lines, upside-down bicycles, monsoon-induced swells and so on. A fringe group of participants who add extra elements of danger to any traditional sport can essentially create an extreme sport. That does not make the core sport inherently extreme. I'm sure gymnastics didn't start out with a girl doing flips and tumbles on the balance beam - how much do you want to bet that the balance beam was invented to increase skill and add an element of challenge not possible with floor exercises?

Yes, there are snowboarders who go out there and take the sport to "the next level." But doesn't every sport evolve? Downhill skiing was in the Olympics long before ski jumping was added. It's funny that there's this underlying animosity between skiiers and snowboarders, but to me, the sports are very much alike. People are sliding on snow, carving turns and making their runs as challenging as their personal tastes require. In the end, we all make it down to the bottom of the hill with the exhilaration of conquering the mountain.

Sure, I've never been in a half-pipe on my board and maybe I never will. But, when I'm snowboarding, I do try new things. If we don't challenge ourselves, we get bored. Our sports are different than our parents' sports, as theirs was different than their parents' sports. Evolution is a part of life and perhaps extreme sports will eventually make their way into the Olympics. It is the world's job to decide what is "sport" and what is "fad." Snowboaring is not a fad.

12:47 PM                       0 Comments


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