How does one get involved in winter sports, but more importantly why? The last week for me personally has been brutal and I am in no way, shape, or form scared to drive in the snow. In fact, I love getting out while everyone else is nowhere to be seen. I do not worry about my own skills behind the wheel, but rather everyone else’s skills are what I am most concerned about.
It’s just the bitterly cold air cutting right through layer after layer of protection I don’t like until it gets to my pasty, white skin and then there is just not much recovery after that. After the cold reaches my skin, there is nothing I can do to change anything besides the obvious going inside.
So the first sport coming to mind is not your average downhill skier, but rather those men and women who go to the extreme. Shaun White is the first name that comes to mind when I think of winter sports. It is not enough to compete going downhill with a snowboard strapped to your feet, but add in flips and jumps along with some epic wipeouts and you get Winter X-games.
These men and women go the extra mile when just going downhill is not enough. The Winter X-games is an annual sporting event with its focus aimed at extreme sports. The first Winter X-games was held in 1997 at Big Bear Lake, Calif., just two years after the first Summer X-Games was held in 1995 in New Point, Rhode Island.
Not just snowboarding is featured at Winter X-games. Other sports include snowboard super-pipe, extreme snowmobiling, and ski big air competition as well as many others. Medals are given to the winners after several rounds of competition with scoring totaled after each round. Medals are similar to that of the Olympic medals -- gold, silver, and bronze.
While all these events are fun to watch, they come with an extreme amount of risk involved. American snowmobiler Caleb Moore became the first X-games participant to die from his injuries sustained at an event. Moore died on Jan. 31, 2013 after having complications from his crash on Jan. 24.
I for one am not sure if competition is worth risking anyone’s life over, but we as Americans love to compete and so do others around the world. We have all seen sports evolve from your basic downhill skiing competition at a rapid pace. Will athletes continue to push boundaries and challenge others to see who can go higher and farther? The answer to that question would be an absolute yes.
As long as there are men and women who love to compete, and places not yet competed in, there will always be competitions. But for the answer to my first question, why compete in the winter sports? It’s either extreme or crazy, maybe even extremely crazy in my opinion. As for me, I guess I will just stick with the warm weather sports for now. Right on.