Almost half of the record 98 events being held at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games were either not held 20 years ago at Lillehammer or have been substantially modified. The Olympics as a global sports event are not stationary but must adapt and evolve in response to changing demands, just as the remarkable athletes who are competing do. While the Winter Olympics program has steadily grown since Chamonix in 1924, the rate of development has greatly accelerated in the last 20 years. Three factors seem to be instrumental. First, the Winter Olympics program has become more gender balanced. Female hockey teams are battling for gold, and this year women will compete in ski jumping for the first time. Most Winter Olympics sports have equal numbers of events for men and women today, although female participation still lags somewhat behind. Second, many traditional events have been modified by sport-governing bodies toward a more “TV friendly” format. Time-trial starts have been replaced by mass or group starts. “Sprint” and team events have been added to spice up traditional sports like cross-country skiing and speed skating. Finally “extreme” sports like half-pipe and ski-cross have crossed over from the X Games to the Olympics, with some arguing that the Olympics need these popular sports more than the X Games sports need the Olympics. All of these changes create new research questions for sport scientists who are also willing to adapt and evolve.
Lenny D. Wiersma
Extreme sport athletes perform in environments that are characterized by danger, unpredictability, and fear, and the consequences of a mistake include severe injury or death. Maverick’s is a big-wave surfing location in northern California that is known for its cold water temperatures, dangerous ocean wildlife, deep reef, and other navigational hazards. The purpose of this study was to use a phenomenological framework to understand the psychology of big-wave surfing at Maverick’s. Seven elite big-wave surfers completed in-depth phenomenological interviews and discussed the psychology related to various stages of big-wave surfing, including presurf, in the lineup, catching the wave, riding the wave, wiping out, and postsurf. Big-wave surfers described a variety of experiences associated with surfing at Maverick’s and discussed several ways that they coped with its challenges. The results provide a greater understanding of the psychology of participating in an extreme environment.
Tanya McGuane, Stephen Shannon, Lee-Ann Sharp, Martin Dempster and Gavin Breslin
, I just said fuck this. I went . . . and I had Mammy’s Sunday dinner. I felt wild, bold, brazen, and crazy . . . it was like an extreme sport to me! . . . I remember asking Mammy how many calories were in each pea and all this nonsense. . . . I finished it, I thought I was going to cry, I was
Jeffrey Martin, Mario Vassallo, Jacklyn Carrico and Ellen Armstrong
analysis of emotions in an extreme sport . Frontiers in Psychology, 9 , doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00971 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00971 Hofstede , G. ( 1983 ). National cultures in four dimensions: A research-based theory of cultural differences among nations . International Studies of Management