Sports are what the majority of kids group up as loving as the best part of a boring school week. Many people continue their sporting passions into adulthood, whether through avid supporting of a favourite, continuing to play socially, or both. Cuts and bruises, sometimes even broken bones are an accepted part of the enjoyment of your chosen sport, but there are some sports which run a slightly higher risk…
Bizarre as it may sound, this is an incredibly dangerous pastime, particularly if you do it in India or Pakistan. In 2005 the Pakistani government banned the flying of kites during the famous Basant festival due to the high number of deaths that had occurred as a direct result of it in previous years. 9 fatalities in 2004, and 20 in 2005. The danger arises as kites are flown from rooftops, which leads to falls, and also because the kites fight against each in mid-air. As this is taken very seriously, some competitors have taken to using razor wire rather than just sting to best arm their kites for combat. The dangerous implications of this are obvious. The people revolted against the government’s decision to ban kite flying and it was reintroduced in 2007. Ten people died.
It might be an Olympic sport and a staple part of any high school’s track and field programme, but this is much more dangerous than it seems. There may be a nicely cushioned pad waiting to catch the fall of the athlete, but they have to get there first. The chances of the pole snapping mid jump are higher than you would expect, and the run up itself presents a whole world of possibly fatal complications. It looks amazingly elegant when it all comes off, but you might want to stick to the walking race, also an Olympic sport!
The premise is simple; you find yourself a nice, often illegally accessed, extremely high place, and then jump from it with only a simple parachute to break your uncontrolled free fall to the waiting earth below. In most countries this activity is not surprisingly a crime, but there are still those who cannot help but practise it, with an estimated 15 to 20 deaths each year. For the aficionado it is the ultimate exercise in bravery and fearlessness, for others it is just plain stupid.
It is the great winter passion of millions but it is also the sport that leaves one of the highest number of injuries and fatalities in its wake. Over 10 thousand Brits are injured skiing each year and with an average of over 30 deaths annually there is certainly more than just what outfit you are going to wear to be worried about when you head out to the piste. In fact it is probably only when taking your airport transfer to your resort that you are truly free from any ski related danger. Misfiring lifts, avalanches, innocuous falls; you just don’t know where best to look when trying to avoid danger on the slopes.
It is a massively popular spectator sport but its danger level is almost equally high. The bikes that the most competitive riders race on are called Super Bikes and they absolutely fly round tight corners at the most ridiculous speeds. Fatalities are not all uncommon and nobody is immune from danger, with one of Moto GP’s biggest names, Marco Simoncelli, being killed on track only last year. And the world famous Isle of Man TT Races have claimed more than 200 lives in less than a hundred years of competition. It’s exciting, but is it worth it?
Guest post by Peak Transfer – Geneva and Charmonix transfers, Les Gets and Montblanc.