“I’m one of these people that like adrenaline and new things, like extreme sports. It makes me feel alive.”- Gisele Bundchen. I doubt this beautiful supermodel has ever participated in the sports that we have listed below but her statement holds true. There is something about sports that gives you a rush like no other, yes I love mainstream sports like football, basketball and so on but in this case, I’m not talking about them. The sports we are referring to are those which you wake up in the morning and you are excited to compete, but at the back of your head you always know that this could be the last time you wake up. In spite of the dangers posed by these sports, men compete in order to prove to themselves and push their boundaries and possess the endurance that would set them apart from everybody else. Though almost all contact sports threaten one’s life, these are the top 10 most dangerous sports in the world, some silly, some just death defying, but in the end, participate in these and you might not see another dawn.
1. Hoi Phet
Mash playing hockey and a mosh pit you see at metal gigs and you will get the Hoi Phet, except the fact that the stick is not used to control the ball but to get anyone standing in your way of the ball off course. A traditional sport in the village of Hien Quan, north of Hanoi, Vietnam, locals gather on one day of the year and battle it out to get possession of a red ball they believe would bring them good luck. Thousands gather together and shove each other on this sand dune till one lucky guy actually gains possession of the plastic red ball. Needless to say, but people do get hurt and instead of getting the good luck charm, most of them are left with a bloody face and a toothless grin. How this came to be a sport don’t ask me but the event sees a large turnout every single year. After all, what is life without some luck?
2. Bull Running
Anything with an adrenaline rush can be termed as a sport and considering in this case you are running from a 450-pound bull tailing your a**, there is got to be quite a bit of adrenaline involved. Famous in the town of Pamplona, Spain, bull running initially started as a tactic to transport bulls from point A to point B by intimidating these creatures but soon turned into a sport because the Spaniards found this everyday activity entertaining. I always wished to be part of this absurd festival but after viewing a few clips I’d rather take a seat and have an aerial view of this sport. People do get injured, the odd spike through the butt and some die, but despite the objection, the bull running is a yearly practiced sport during the eight day feast of Saint Fermin.
3. Cheese Rolling
Caution: The participants here are absolutely insane!! Held on the Spring Bank Holiday at Cooper’s Hill near Gloucester in England, participants are expected to run or roll or do whatever it takes to get their hands at the cheese roll that is flung down the hill. The first person to reach the bottom of this steep hill wins the cheese which travels at a speed of 70mph down the hill and could possibly add to the number of causalities if someone is stupid enough to stand in its way at full momentum. By the looks of it, the participants are here to get a broken jaw, collar bone and few dangling teeth but in the end, it is entertaining and it is a sport.
4. Base Jumping
Created by Carl Boenish who thought sky-diving and bungee jumping was too lame, this sport requires participants to fling themselves off buildings, cliffs, towers or anything high raised with only a parachute and vest which would be used to stir them in the direction the person would want to land. A single mistake could prove fatal and since the initiation of the sport there have been more than 250 plus deaths. Obviously, base jumping is termed illegal in most countries but that doesn’t stop these dare devils from putting their life at risk. Factors such as wind speed, steering, height of the base and the level at which they pull the parachute out determine the fine line between life and death.
Started by the Conqueror Genghis Khan and his Mongol almost eight centuries ago because killing had just become mundane and they needed some more entertainment, Buzkashi is now the national sport of the Afghans. The concept is pretty simple, think of football, you need to hold onto the ball and make sure it reaches the goal, except in this sport you need to substitute the ball with a dead goat and the players are on ponies who will do whatever it takes to get possession of the carcass and head to the area which is called the goal. Participants are provided with whips which they use on their horses and opponents alike. Practically speaking there are no rules to this game as you can do anything to gain possession of the carcass, even if it means you beat or whip the crap out of your opponent. Fatalities are observed not just with the players as the spectators who have positioned themselves too close to comfort are often trampled or sandwiched by the horses. Using binoculars would be the best way to view this exciting sport that sometimes takes days to conclude.
6. Street Luge
You’ve probably come across Ice luging at the winter Olympics, but some dare devils decided to take it to the next level and do it on the road. Think of sitting on a skateboard, longer one though, and speeding down a steep slope with only your legs to maneuver, break the momentum and halt the luge. What’s worse is to think that these guys sometimes race on public roads while cars are on the road and they reach speeds up to 98mph. You’ll probably have a broken leg or a torn ligament any moment, while I’ll leave the worst possible scenario to your imagination.
The national sport of Ireland which dates 3000 years back, Hurling combines hockey, football, basketball and rugby. If you thought hockey was dangerous, and it is because you have had a gashed knee in the past, then this sport takes it to another level. With an axe shape stick, participants hurl the ball forward using skills similar to hockey, take-outs similar to rugby and catch the ball like pro-basketball players. Like football the idea is to score the goal. Take a look at the video and then you will side with me as to why this sport is listed as the most dangerous around the world. The pure pace of the game is frighteningly exciting!!
We are not talking about American Football here, where players are padded from head to toe, and although there are quite a number of deaths in American Football itself, we have decided to put its primitive form- Rugby in the list. First of all, the size of the players itself is jaw dropping, and if aren’t built like the incredible hulk then we suggest you start praying. Apart from the tons of injuries players suffer from this full body-contact sport, most fatalities are due to brain concussions, considering the fact that everyone out there is bred to knock you to the ground. Another way rugby players have succumbed is by what they call as ‘ruck.’ Basically ruck is drowning, except in this case we are not talking about water but having your face buried in the thick muck and suffocating to death. Now if this doesn’t sound dangerous then I do not know what will.
9. Horseback Riding
So if you are ignorant and think that horse-back riding is a leisure activity, think again because it limited superman Christopher Reeve to a wheel chair his whole life and I probably don’t think he was racing around. Imagine controlling an animal weighing way over 500-pounds running at 70mph when the rider is just a tenth of its weight. According to the stats, many riders suffer from serious injuries every 350 hours, and by serious we mean a broken skull, or spinal cord snapped completely into two, broken legs and so on. To make things even more dangerous, catch a horse in a bad mood and you will be at the receiving end of 2000 pound per square inch kick. Horses can kick through a barn wall with ease, and it can knock you off your bearings as it pleases.
10. Isle Of Man TT
Considered as the most dangerous motorsport in the world and the oldest as well, the Isle of Man is truly a death defying sporting event in which every participant, winner or loser is happy to have survived the race. Imagine zipping at 300kms/hour on a normal stretch of road and having your head inches from rocks with no tires like Motor GP and Formula 1 to cushion the impact. The event which takes place on the beautiful Isle of Man stretch see approximately two deaths a year, as the slightest mistake at those speeds can result in a collision or send the driver off a cliff. To sum it up, this is what 23-times TT winner John McGuinness stated: “The TT is the biggest most dangerous thing for me and I have my family around me for it.”