By Robert E. Rinehart, Synthia Sydnor
Insider and outsider narratives at the essence of contemporary "extreme" activities.
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Additional resources for To the Extreme: Alternative Sports, Inside and Out
The US press declaimed, for example, the credibility of the sport when Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati lost, then regained, the gold medal after violating the IOC’s drug policy. ” (Sun News Services, “Notebook: Rebagliati regains gold on appeal,” The San Bernardino County Sun, 13 Feb 1998, p. C3). John M. Glionna cites both snowboarders’ marijuana use and the fact that “several boarders have become lost while venturing off and carving their own runs in unpatrolled wooded areas away from well-groomed ski slopes, prompting expensive and time-consuming rescue missions” (“Snowboarders shrug off outlaw rap,” Los Angeles Times, 9 March 1998, p.
In-line skating (also known as Rollerblading®57) is an activity/ sport engaged in throughout the year by a variety of people in many different forms and forums. Many in-line sports events (such 42 Robert E. 60 Touring the country is an attempt to make contact with fans at the grassroots levels, and is a fairly inexpensive way to promote not only the sport but the product. 61 Despite this spread of the sport—admittedly at the grassroots to localized levels—the dominant62 in-line event, the one which burns in-line skating into a mainstream public consciousness, is and has always been the ESPN-driven and -produced image derived from the X Games and other ESPN-sponsored sports events.
This, of course, may be antithetical to the claimed ideologies—like freedom, individuality, and an ethos proclaiming an aesthetic lifestyle—for many extreme sports and sport extremists. 11 Thus, they risk destroying the credibility that they may have spent much of their young adult lives fostering. As in sports television strategies, the athlete’s personality becomes constructed, with shrewd aims at marketing strategies, for the least common denominator: that is, the largest market. And, ironically, athletes may be giving up that part of themselves that they most sought to ﬁnd through alternative sports: their freedom.