Is figure skating “extreme”?

Posted: September 9, 2009 in business, Dan Perceval, figure skating, Sport

If you ask figure skaters if they think their sport is extreme, most figure skaters will reply with a quick “yes”. But if you ask the average John or Jane Doe the same question, they are more likely to give you the opposite answer. If you look at figure skater’s movements, they’re doing three or four spins in the air, sometimes even back flips during shows. How can figure skating not be extreme? And to add to the pile, the general public is starting to perceive figure skating as an “unmanly” sport. Does it have to do with the sequins (flashy buttons) that many male figure skaters wear, or maybe their tight costumes and feminine-like movements? Many researchers and business leaders have taken notice of this “unmanly” effect in figure skating, and a lot have suggested that they have to “manly” up the sport. But many disagree and feel they have to show the energy and difficult routines of the figure skating athletes themselves. But in my own opinion, being an inventor of an extreme sport (Xtreme Ice Skating), I would argue that no matter what business leaders and marketers try to do to beef up the sport of figure skating, figure skating will never be an extreme sport.

If we tear down the use of the word “extreme”, we think bmx biking, skateboarding, surfing, aggressive skating, snowboarding, and etc.. This perception has to do with a broad brand appeal and brand recall of “extreme sports”. In this particular sense, viewers relate “extreme” to the above mentioned sports. “Some contend, that the distinction between an extreme sport and a conventional one has as much to do with marketing as it has to do with perceptions about levels of danger involved or the amount of adrenaline generated (wikipedia.org)”. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how extreme a sport’s movements may be, if the sport is not marketed and sold to extreme sports viewers, participants, and/or does not have a “pure energy” feel, than no marketing or public opinion can ever make figure skating extreme. Furthermore, “a sport like rugby union, though dangerous and adrenaline-inducing, would not fall into the category of extreme sports due to its traditional image, and it does not have certain things that other extreme sports do, such as high speed and an intention to perform stunts (wikipedia.org)”. So whenever a figure skater says to you that their sport is extreme, they are either lying to you or they do not understand the inherent context of “extreme”.

Articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_sport
http://www.XtremeIceSkating.com

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Comments
  1. serenityphoto says:

    Check this out, one cool show that is starting in Canada Oct 4th, called the Battle of the Blades. Staring a lot of great Canadian talent, best yet is my wife Jodeyne is skating in it with Ken Daneyko from the New Jersey Devils. If you will, become a fan of theirs because they are trying to win $100,000 for the charity called (The Foundation for Fighting Blindness). Thanks so Much and hope you become a fan of theirs. You can sing up from all over the world. Please don’t be a stranger! See you there!

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