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The term “sports” is all-embracing, including various forms of activities and pastimes that often entail physical competition. Extreme sports, on the other hand, move beyond basic athletic or mental challenge and into the scope of precarious and sometimes impractical pursuits, such as the ever-growing base jumping. The goal of extreme sports is to accomplish new corporeal feats and trigger surges of adrenaline in the participants. Extreme sports have also become incredibly popular as spectator sports.
The immense following that extreme sports has gained has prompted the creation of the X Games—a yearly event that has been held since 1995 in both the summer and the winter. However, extreme sports enjoy a following outside of the ESPN-hosted X Games events. Worldwide thrill seekers amuse themselves with extreme sports, some they have even invented themselves, and some that are illegal. Base jumping has become trendy in the world of extreme sports; base is an abbreviation of “building, antenna, span, earth”—listing the sites from which participants may jump. When base jumping, athletes leap from secure articles, such as the roofs of tall buildings, bridges, or cliffs, and use skydiving equipment to soar to the ground.
Like many other extreme sports, base jumping was initially met with opposition, skepticism, and fear. Although it has become more popular and even able to be judged, base jumping is still illegal in many locations, namely America’s National Parks, which have been the site of innumerable unlawful base jumps. Extreme athletes hope that as the sport expands, it will gain more recognition and restrictions on extreme sports will be alleviated.