Dr. Sam Temple
15 April 2014
Olympic Dreams Happen Over a Lifetime
Prior proper planning prevents piss-poor performance. This statement, also known as the seven p’s, explains that without the
appropriate amount of training, anything in life, especially high-risk sports, will inevitably end in an undesirable outcome. This
assertion can be seen in instances where athletes who participate in extreme sports end up with a major fatality such as a broken
bone or nerve damage. One such instance happened recently at the 2014 Winter Olympics when a skier from Great Britain fell
unconscious during a training session. The article states that, “The 18 year-old . . .is understood to have remained unconscious for
several minutes after crashing on the left wall of the pipe before being carried from the course on a stretcher” (Hart 1). From this
example, one can begin to understand the dangers and perils associated with high-risk sports and the sudden, life-altering changes
they can have on the athletes. With this assertion in mind, the statement can be made that preparing for the skiing events during
the Winter Olympics demands the highest degree of proper training and execution because the sport can deliver life-threatening
outcomes to any participant.
Hart, Simon. “Winter Olympics 2014: Britain’s Rowan Cheshire in hospital after being knocked out in freestyle ski training.” The Telegraph 17 Feb. 2014: 1-3. Print.
Haupt, Angela. “Hannah Kearney on Prepping for the Olympics.” U.S. News 14 Jan. 2014: 1-4. Print.
Smorodinskaya, Anastassia. “Q&A: Talking Olympic nutrition with Team USA chef Allen Tran.” Sports Illustrated 31 Jan. 2014: 1-2. Print.
O’Neill, Devon. “Heli-Skiing Regulations to Take Flight?.” Ski Magazine 78 (): 1-20. Print.
Ružić, Lana, and Anton Tudor. “Risk-taking Behavior in Skiing Among Helmet Wearers and Nonwearers.” Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 22 (): 291-296. Print.
– http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1080603211002316 (protection) 5
Greve, Mark W., David J. Young, Andrew L. Goss, and Linda C. Degutis. “Skiing and Snowboarding Head Injuries in 2 Areas of the United States.” Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 20 (): 234-238. Print.
–http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1080603209701267 (percentage of fatality) 6
Fry, John. “Brain Trauma: Does the Sport Need to Change?.” International Skiing History Association 15 Jan. 2014: 1-2. Print.
–http://skiinghistory.org/news/brain-trauma-does-sport-need-change (ways to improve safety) 7
Lund, Morten, and Seth Masia. “A Short History of Skis.” International Skiing History Association : 1-6. Print.
– http://skiinghistory.org/history/short-history-skis-0 (history of skiing) 8
“Snowmaking & Grooming.” Snow Summit RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.snowsummit.com/ski/mountain-info/snowmaking-grooming/>.
–http://www.snowsummit.com/ski/mountain-info/snowmaking-grooming/ (fake snow versus real snow) 9
“Skiing vs Snowboarding.” Snowboarding Essentials. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.snowboarding-essentials.com/info/guide/snowboarding/skiing.html>.
– http://www.snowboarding-essentials.com/info/guide/snowboarding/skiing.html (snowboarding versus skiing) 10
Anderson, Ken. “DANGER: The Thrill of Flight, the Agony of Misperception.” Ski Jumping USA (): 1-4. Print.
– http://www.skijumpingusa.com/index_htm_files/danger01.pdf (dangers of ski jumping) 11
Need for Speed
For this research paper, I wish to answer questions pertaining to the demographic and gender aspect of the high intensity
sport of skiing. I wish to look further into exactly who spends their free time skiing by looking into sources that give statistics about
the sport. By using this data, I want to come up with a reason why these people choose such a dangerous sport by looking at
different articles pertaining to this idea. The following are sources that will help to illustrate and answer these questions.
From the talk, I began to think about two specific topics that he brought up which included the fact that radiation exists in places long after the initial bomb has been dropped, and the topic of massive amounts of pressure put on sciences to explain natural disasters in a limited amount of time. With regard to the first topic, I find it astonishing that governments across the world could possibly attempt to convince people into thinking places such as these are safe places to inhabit anytime soon. This particular response is an example of how governments try to get people back to their country or city to pay more taxes and thus, help the government in that area. With this being said, I still cannot believe that such people would put their own personal financial success ahead of the health of so many people. I also believe that the people responsible for actions such as these should be sentenced to many years in prison to help deal with this issue while informing residents of that area that it is still not an inhabitable place. Moving on to the second topic regarding a shortened time for scientific response, I believe that the scientists should take their time to completely assess the given situations and make a rational call about the situation and how to deal with it. They should not be coerced by the public to come up with a quick explanation for the cause of natural disasters simply because the public wants that information as soon as possible. With these two topic being put forth, there are many areas, more than just the two mentioned above, that can be improved for the betterment of society as a whole.
Fortune Favors the Bold
Aaron Ralston, an active canyoneer, writes about a dramatic incident in which he finds himself trapped by a boulder for one hundred and twenty seven straight hours. The event, now written into a book and a movie, explores the reasons why Aaron decided to suddenly leave his quiet lifestyle and discretely embark upon this journey, which ultimately ends with the self-amputation of his arm. This occurrence, along with many others, puzzles safety-driven people around the world because the idea of indulging in such hazardous acts baffles their minds. These people generally believe that the world should ensure safety in all aspects of life from driving to work in the morning to willingly jumping out of a plane. With this idea in mind, one can begin to immerse one’s self in the battle between safety and risk. During this time, one must realize that in a world where “[s]afety has become the fundamental value…” (Furedi 1), numerous amounts of people find satisfaction and pleasure in wanting to break away from the norms of everyday life, watching people take extraordinary risks, and following in the footsteps of these risk-takers to depart from the security of today’s world both physically and mentally.
In order to full heartedly break away from the tyranny of today’s overly safe world, one must first embody the want and the need to depart from that lifestyle either once a week or for the rest of their life. In order to do this, one must understand why a departure from the status quo ends up being consequentially noble in the mindset that the current world restrains and confines creativity and adventure. For example, a businessman who has been buried head deep in paperwork might look to ways to physically and mentally escape from that lifestyle for a limited amount of time. When looking elsewhere for ways to get away from the busyness of that world, that person might begin to get the idea of trying an activity that would not be deemed safe or reasonable by his or her employees. This particular business might decide that “Activities such as going on holiday or taking drugs are ‘interruptions in the flow of life, interludes, temporary breaks, skirmishes, glimpses of other realities’” (Lupton 150). These interruptions, seen as extremely negative for businessmen, might be essential to the continuation of their stressful job. This necessity to get away from the stresses of everyday life can be seen by the high amounts of Americans who travel out to other parts of the world during the holidays and summer months because they cannot hope to remain sane by simply going to their jobs for an elongated amount of time. Thus, the compulsion to break away from the safety and stress of the world and to travel to other lands and experience daring sports can be seen through this example.
Before people go out and experience the world of dangerous sports and activities, they watch professionals engage in the activities and thus, see how the sports work on an expert level. These people, seen as professionals in the risky-sports business, make the action of gliding down a mountain seem like a relaxed and uncomplicated task. Because these people complete the sports in a nonchalant fashion, tourists and stressed businessmen believe that they can also complete the adventure as easily as the experts. What these people do not understand is that many of these experts started at a very truncated level and gradually made their way up the ladder of expertise. This implies that “There is a belief among those who engage in edgework that ‘mental toughness’ is an innate ability, possessed by only a select and elite few” (Lupton 152). This mental toughness, which many novices believe they possess, ends up being the primary reason they indulge in the acts themselves. People can learn about extreme sports such as snowboarding or bobsledding when watching the Olympics, which solely encompasses masters of the individual sports. As an example, if a person diligently watches all of the high-speed ice skaters compete, that people might decide to treat him or herself to trying the sport themselves. When this happens, the person might not be interested in starting at a novice level because they have been watching people participate in the sport at the expert level. Consequently, one can begin to see the dangers in people not taking the appropriate steps working up to higher and more dangerous levels of high-intensity sports.
Once viewers gain appreciation of particular high-risk sports, they then want to experience the sport for themselves by paying for tour guides to take them up in a plane to skydive or guide them up colossal mountains. This final step in the process of novices attempting expert sports instigates the problem of making slightly dangerous sports considerably dangerous to these people. This problem occasionally ends with the death of a tourist or action-seeker and thus, makes its way into the media that magnifies the incident. When looking at this problem, the occasions where prepared individuals who suitably planned for the expedition experience a life-changing transformation must be seen as well. This scenario can be illustrated in a study where action junkies are interviewed and asked a number of questions with regard to the positive aspects that come from these sports. The study illustrates this point by stating that “A second participant elaborates upon panic and the ways in which addressing panic affects her thinking which she describes as amazing: ‘You have that instant of panic when you are in a dangerous situation and then it’s like no If I panic I’m lost, dead. It’s quite amazing really’” (Brymer and Schweitzer 482). This sudden realization by the sports participant may seem intimidating to many because for a countless amount of people, the idea of dying while performing an action never crosses their minds. This scenario, in some cases, ends up being on of the main reasons why people depart from their work style week to indulge in these activities. These death-defying acts genuinely show the performers how precious life can be and thus, make their workweek seem more meaningful than usual. From these three points about the transformation of someone wanting to depart the norms of everyday life to the experiencing of the extreme sports themselves, the participants often undergo a life-altering phenomenon that affects them throughout the rest of their lives.
As mentioned before, the act of performing these prestigious feats encompass numerous different positive consequences. For example, if someone who is afraid height jumps out of a plane and successfully lands on the ground unscathed, that person might encompass a reduced fear of height. This example along with many others implies that these sports should not be seen as all that wicked because they sometimes conclude with a higher quality individual than the one who stay cooped up in their office for the duration of the week. This realization about these sports complies with the popularity that these sports have lately been receiving through the mass media. When a snowboarder successfully completes a death-defying stunt with the snowboard, a video releases on the Internet and thus, the sport of snowboarding gains popularity. To relate back to the idea that safety has lately become our fundamental value coincides with the norms of the everyday world. Because of this world, people wish to get away and experience other aspects of the world through these extreme sports which to some seen dangerous and precarious. For this reason, the need for novices to take the right steps to indulge in dangerous sports should be necessary. This necessity will end with less casualties and more acceptance in the real world because they will be seen as safer but they will still encompass the true aspects of the death-defying sports.
Brymer, Eric, and Robert Schweitzer. Extreme Sports are good for your health: A phenomenological understanding of fear and anxiety in extreme sports. Queensland: 2012. 482. Print.
Furedi, Frank. Culture of Fear. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2006. 1. Print.
Lupton, Deborah. Risk. London: Routledge, 1999. 150. Print.
Thus far, I have been astonished by the overwhelming fascination of high intensity sports such as skydiving and white water rafting. I also never saw an danger in an overly safe environment but after listening to much discussion on the topic, I can see now that a world embedded with too much safety turns out to be horrific to the general population. For this reason, journals regarding the positive effects of taking risk interest me more than they use to interest me. In the journal of Health Psychology, by Eric Brymer and Robert Schweitzer, it is said that, “Brymer… found that extreme sports instigated positive psychological relationships with the natural world which benefits the individual. Participation might develop courage and humility” (Brymer and Schweitzer 478). With this quote in mind, the world can begin to acknowledge the fact that there exist beneficiary consequences to these breath-taking sports. Because of this, one might see that a businessman who had been stuck in his office all week might benefit substantially from participating in such sports as these. Thus, I find it disturbingly interesting to read about the different sides to the argument regarding the sudden burst of popularity that these sports are currently receiving.