In love with fear 愛上恐懼感


Vocabulary: Extreme sports 詞匯: 極限運動

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Image caption Skydivers have to be fit but age might not matter

Tired of your quiet routine? How about leaving your computer games behind and taking up an extreme sport?

You can ride a bicycle, right? In that case you're halfway to becoming a mountain biker. All you have to do is take your bike off the road and try some rough terrain. Mountain biking was developed in California in the 1970s and became an Olympic sport in 1996. In the London 2012 games athletes had to navigate a 4.7-kilometre track in less than two hours.

Not challenging enough? Skydivers jump from aircraft at an altitude of 1,000 to 4,000 metres. You have to be fit but there's no age limit with this sport. Dilys Price from Cardiff went on her first jump aged 54. The minute she came down she wanted to go up again. "I was hooked", said Dilys.

Some adrenaline junkies are even bolder – they've invented base jumping, in which people leap from tall structures, such as buildings or bridges, with a parachute. Many of their stunts aren't legal, especially in urban areas. Dan Witchalls has jumped off The Shard - London's 310 metre-high skyscraper - four times. He says: "Base jumping is scarier than jumping out of a plane. In a plane there's no perception of height, but when you are standing on the edge of the building you can see people and cars - it makes it very real."

It seems there's no lack of imagination when it comes to risking life to look cool and get the heart pounding. Surfing, scuba diving, rock climbing… How about turning one of your chores into a daredevil pursuit? 'Extreme ironing' isn't for wimps! Pressing your shirt on top of a mountain could be dangerous, depending on the mountain. Extreme ironing is said to have been created in the 1990s in the English town of Leicester by a man who saw a pile of wrinkled clothes and felt bored. That was Phil Shaw who also won the only Extreme Ironing Championships ever held, in Germany in 2002. For him, the thrill of this sport comes from looking at the spectators' faces. Shaw says: "Sometimes they look confused, sometimes they laugh. It's fun to see how people respond to it."