Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Marli. Marli Wonders, “should we do extreme sports or are they to dangerous?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Marli!

Do you love to play sports? For many kids, there’s nothing quite like the exercise and fun that come from being part of a team. Maybe you play baseball, basketball, football, or soccer. Perhaps you prefer softball or volleyball. No matter what sports you enjoy, there is fun to be had on a field or a court near you.

Some athletes take things to the next level, though. Rather than playing traditional sports, they strike out on their own. No, we’re not talking about bowling or jogging. We’re talking about extreme sports!

What is an extreme sport? There’s no set definition. For the most part, though, extreme sports are athletic activities involving one person that are dangerous in some way. Most extreme sports give athletes a rush of adrenaline. This is what drives many of them to take part.

What types of activities do most people call extreme sports? It’s a long list! It includes skateboarding, surfing, bungee jumping, snowboarding, whitewater kayaking, mountain climbing, and ice climbing. Many would add BASE jumping, heli-skiing, BMX biking, bull riding, and cliff diving to the list. Even mountain biking, cave diving, ski jumping, speed skiing, and street luging are often called extreme sports.

Just thinking about many of those activities is enough to give most people goosebumps. That feeling of fear and danger is what drives many extreme sports athletes. They seek to test themselves in all sorts of death-defying ways. Many people also enjoy watching extreme sports. Their popularity has soared in recent years.

You may have seen extreme sports on TV or social media. Some of the athletes receive large sponsorships. Many companies want to link their brands with these thrill seekers. Some sponsorships allow extreme sports athletes to compete professionally.

The best extreme sports athletes can have long and profitable careers. But even the smallest mistakes in these sports can have major—even lethalconsequences. Between 2000 and 2011, over four million injuries were caused by extreme sports.

Many of these injuries can be prevented. Unfortunately, the young people who are most likely to engage in extreme sports sometimes lack good judgment. The lure of Internet fame leads many to attempt things they’re not ready for.

Extreme sports can be very dangerous. Never engage in an activity you haven’t prepared for. If you think you would like to try an extreme sport, get advice from friends and family members first. You should also learn from experts in the sport. If you proceed, start small. Your safety is always what’s most important.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day might have you saying, “Cheese!”