As the Olympics have come to an end, so we say goodbye to a monumental time for almost every activity across the globe but in particular our favourite extreme sports. While athletes such as LeClose and Raisman have done their respective countries proud, there is no doubt that there’s a special place in the hearts of fans for the winners of extreme sports races. IN fact, popularity for these outside sports seems to be growing exponentially every year giving these races the publicity they deserve. The London Olympics 2012 is a perfect example of this.
In retrospect, these games showcased highly competitive BMXing, river racing, mountain biking and slaloming. In fact, even the Huffington Post recently published an article talking about how Olympic marketing is in serious need of a revamp embracing a more daring approach. In a way it’s already doing so. And, as the demand grows and these sports are showcased more often, so some of the more traditional races are losing somewhat of their appeal. Let’s take a look at how the extreme athletes faired during this year’s events:
On the Podium
BMX – This is one of the most recent additions to the Olympic arena and features some of the most nail-biting and competitive races sure to entertain any adrenaline junkie or hardcore spectator. While it’s an extremely popular sport in the United States, many other countries have embraced it as an alternative sport or freestyle street activity. At this year’s competition Latvia’s Stromberg came out on top as the gold medallist with a very determined expression after winning his medal. In the women’s finals, Marina Pajon – of Columbia – came out with the gold and New Zealander Sarah Walker coming in a close second.
Canoe – This sport is widely overlooked as being less extreme than others that land you in the air and falling on your face but canoeing takes great agility and strength and is just as tough as any other competition. In the slalom, Tony Estanguet took the gold while Sideris Tasiadus of Germany ended up with the silver. In the women’s league, Emilie Fer from France came out the victor with another gold after her winning’s in 2006. Australia’s Jessica Fox took the silver and a position next to Fer on the podium – meaning two athletes of French heritage stood in front of the world, even though one was raised as an Aussie. Fox must have been delighted to be decorated after she won the gold in the 2012 Youth Olympics (K1)
Mountain Biking – When racing a marathon or triathlon, you’ve got a team of supporters ready to help you change tyres and get back out on the road in no time. There are thousands of spectators cheering you on and TV cameras everywhere. When it comes to Olympic mountain biking, you’re in more of a solitary situation. So when Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic won it was no easy feat. Not only did he have to face some of the most gruelling conditions but the pressure of the event as well. The women’s race was won by Julie Bresset of France with Sabine Spitz of Germany coming a close second.
This year’s contenders faired incredibly well in all events creating massive buzz around some of these newer Olympic extreme sports, and gave viewers something different to spice up the experience.