Sometimes sport can be dull. What better way to appeal to the human emotion than with the element of danger! Where mistakes can be painful, and a bad one can cost your life. Blood, sweat and tears its all part of the game baby!
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
Like boxing but with thin leather gloves instead of chunky padded models. Elbows to chins and knees to jaws, all commonplace in this dangerous game. Not a sport that has many fatalities but one with tons of nasty injuries. MMA embraces all forms of martial art into one; in theory to find the ultimate way of fighting, hence the big MMA championship the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Not a sport for the faint-hearted, either watching or taking part! With blood flying and big hits its a discipline that can make a spectator squirm and a competitor weak around the knees. There are rarely any deaths, but the constant fear involved in taking part makes this a sport for courageous individuals. Definitely up there, with the scariest, if not dangerous.
Much like suicide, it involves jumping off a tall object; the only difference is a parachute. This is one sport for those slightly unhinged adrenaline junkies. There is a macabre list of jumpers that have died during leaps which are often added to. People who enjoy Base Jumping often comment that nothing beats the adrenaline rush and the flying sensation that each jump can give. Recently invented ‘wingsuits’ allow a jumper to glide for a period. The sensation of hurtling past sharp rock faces only adds to the thrill as well as the danger. Most common deaths occur from a parachute not opening correctly or jumpers being blown into the wall or building they plummeted off. The lack of control in this sport is a stark factor. After all, who wants to rely on the weather and a sheet in their backpack to save their lives?
There was a time when the mortality rate of a race driver was that of a fighter pilot. In those days Motorsport would have been a clear winner. However, nowadays it is not quite so hazardous as advanced safety technology has reduced but not eliminated risk. Famous for killing high profile contenders such as Gilles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna Formula One used to be the most dangerous form of motorsport. Now, bike racing with its broken bones aplenty probably takes the title. American oval racing and drag cars are also hazardous at times due to the proximity of the walls. In spite of recent safety, bike racers and drivers still die and may have to sit out races with injuries on a regular basis. Not immediately unsafe but when a fast moving object is sent out of control sometimes no amount of safety can prevent human damage. Some of the veterans of the sport such as Stirling Moss actually think the sport is now too safe and often comment on how they miss the romance of the daredevil days.
Skateboarders might say rollerblading is easy but this is exactly why it is so dangerous. As the basics are easy to learn the limit of this sport is far-reaching and hence dangerous. Falling in blading is not a pleasant experience, seeing as the blades are strapped to your feet it is often impossible to ‘run out’ a trick and going over onto your hip or back is inevitable with each missed trick. The top professionals are expected to be able to jump huge staircases and grind rails with death drops on one side. Indeed this extreme sport is one that requires a lot of confidence and has a fine line for an error. Recent deaths and serious injuries to the head have led to some skaters skating street with helmets, even if this safety gear is not in vogue. A testament to a real extreme sport often tricks blading can at the very least be a painful experience.
You might think it is ‘just a bunch of toffs messing about on ponies’ but like it or not equestrian is a force to be reckoned with in the danger stakes. In most studies of sports fatalities, figures show horse jumping has the highest deaths in motorsport and powerboat racing. Believe it or not, jumping high fences with horses is not the safest activity. Sadly a lot of horses are killed, much more than riders and animal rights groups have tried to get the sport banned on many occasions. But it is not just animals that are hurt; rider Ian Olding died when his horse fell on him. There are probably more broken necks and spinal injuries in this sport than any other. Another sure-fire contender for the most dangerous sport today.
So there you have it five of the best as it were, All dangerous, yet all exhilarating, colorful and full of life! In ancient Rome gladiators battled to the death and chariots raced each other on the ragged edge of existence. Humans have always been fascinated with cheating death it is an instinct that has been there since our ancestors were thinly avoiding being tusked by a Woolly Mammoth. You can make sports safer, but you cannot destroy the innate urge of a human being to take risks. Adrenaline is something we used to experience fully in our daily survival on a harsh planet. Since the intervention of the civilized world, this is no longer essential, or is it? In my opinion, it is a most natural and beautiful thing that can still be seen in the form of sport today!