Almost everyone around the world enjoys sports in one way or another. Sports range from basketball, a team sport, to speed skating, to skiing. Sports are usually defined by the characteristics of the activity; good sports must be made of multiple strong attributes. These elements must make the sport enjoyable to all involved at many levels, to provide basic leisure, to test one’s abilities and to develop the individual’s mental and physical boundaries. Skiing includes all of the right elements to produce a perfect sport; it provides challenge at multiple levels, involves differing levels of risk and provides variety in activities.
Challenge plays an essential role in defining a sport; it provides the individual with the feeling of achievement in success. Skiing poses challenge even in its simplest foundations. Skiing on a poor quality hill, with icy snow and poor upkeep can sometimes create more challenge than a well-groomed slope. Skiing in the backcountry away from lifts and other people in freshly fallen snow provides an opportunity for the best of skiers to test the boundaries of their capabilities. Necessary to the sport of skiing, challenge plays an essential role but it only exists in the presence of risk.
For a skier to get the feeling of danger and excitement adrenaline must be flowing; no better way exists to release adrenaline than by taking a risk. Skiing provides opportunities to take risks in more abundance than most other sports. The higher number of risks creates a larger amount of injuries then in most other sports. Wendy Fisher, a professional extreme skier, found out how easy it is to injure one’s self during the world extreme skiing championships. “On her third training run for the downhill, on a frozen course on a frozen day, she caught 140 feet of bad air off a roller and missed the landing. She got a concussion, broke her thumb, strained both MCL’s, bruised her ribs, her shoulder, and her ankle” (Kotler 68). A jump on a hill can create a more significant risk than most anywhere. Trying to do tricks from a jump and testing the boundaries of physics allows for risk of injury. Few activities provide opportunities for excitement and exposure to danger as skiing does.
Skiing takes many forms each providing advantages and unique challenges and risks. Taking the same risks and challenges becomes tiresome after some time so variety becomes essential to occupy a skier. People become easily tired of many activities but because skiing provides such variety boredom rarely occur. In one day at a ski hill skiers can choose to take different runs which test them in different ways. Skiers also have the option to choose from many different styles depending on the conditions, their mood, or their ability. Racing allows skiers to test their reaction times and stamina. Free style skiing creates an opportunity for skiers to take risks. Powder skiing helps a skier to develop physical capacity and endurance. Backcountry skiing allows a skier to experience nature. Each style of skiing provides its own challenges and opportunities for risks making it impossible to become tired of skiing.
Skiing brings together challenge at multiple levels, contrasting amounts of risk, and an exceptional amount of variety. These components build the basics of the sport creating a sport suitable for many participants. The amount of enjoyment and reward experienced in skiing is rarely matched by other sports.