- Sports events characterized by high speed or high risk.Such sports include aggressive inline skating, wakeboarding, street luge, skateboarding, and freestyle bicycle events (wherein tricks such as back flips are performed on a bicycle). Many of the eventssnowboarding, skateboarding, and freestyle biking are examplesare performed on ramps and inclines or in a halfpipe, some with walls as high as 50 feet, which allows the athletes to get air, or achieve the height necessary to, for example, rotate on a bicycle. Many of these sports were made popular by the X Games (championship competitions sponsored by the cable-television network ESPN). The 1998 and 2002 Olympic Games featured extreme snowboarding events in a halfpipe, in which boarders performed jumps, rotations, and mid-air maneuvers.
* * *also known as action sports or alternative sportssporting events or pursuits characterized by high speeds and high risk. The sports most commonly placed in this group are skateboarding, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, in-line roller-skating, street lugeing, and BMX and mountain biking (cycling). Typically, extreme sports operate outside traditional mainstream sports and are celebrated for their adrenaline-pumping thrills. Racing and acrobatic competitions for motorcycles and snowmobiles are also often classified as “extreme,” and the term can be stretched to include such daring pursuits as rock climbing and skydiving.The primary extreme sports—skateboarding, in-line roller-skating, and BMX, for example—often make use of half-pipes (U-shaped structures) and urban landscapes for performing a wide range of tricks. The sports also share a unique subculture that separates them from traditional team sports. It is a youth-oriented culture that has embraced punk music and fashion and emphasizes individual creativity.The term extreme sports is generally attributed to the X Games, a made-for-television sports festival created by the cable network ESPN (ESPN, Inc.) in 1995. The success of the X Games raised the profile and economic viability of these sports. The extreme sports of mountain biking and snowboarding debuted at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in 1996 and 1998, respectively.
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