Extreme Wheelchair Sports


Wheelchair sports were first recognized in 1957, with the first Wheelchair Games taking place in New York City. Since then, the sport has evolved from wheelchair basketball and wheelchair soccer, to extreme sports that are utterly unpredictable. That is why Wheelchair Extreme Sports have earned such respect and are emerging as competitive sports that are to be taken seriously. The best thing about Wheelchair Extreme Sport is that it doesn’t demand a crazy amount of media attention or ask to be recognized, but simply continues to make its mark by achieving incredible feats never believed to be possible.

The thrills of 4-wheel downhill mountain biking is mind-blowing. Its secret is a 4 wheeler’s low centre of gravity and stability, which proves to be phenomenally useful on the bends. The scene is rife with “techno-weenies,” who know all the ways in which to invent and re-invent faster 4-wheelers, guaranteed to show any gravel track what real speed feels like. The fitness of wheelchair athletes is remarkable, not to mention their outstanding upper body strength and relentless endurance on epic 4-wheel races. If “seeing is believing,” is a phrase that applies to you, then the UK is where it’s at. The recently founded, “Rough Riderz club,” aims to promote downhill biking whether it’s on 2 or 4 wheels and to create an all-inclusive sporting environment, because, let’s get real – whether you’re going to jet down a steep dirt track at a speed where only tunnel vision is possible, on 2 or 4 wheels, you’re still pushing the limits of, “extreme,” and that’s what it’s all about.

August 26 2010, was an unforgettable day for the wheelchair sports arena: Aaron Fotheringham completed the world’s first-ever double backflip in a wheelchair. It was sick. The 18 year old from Las Vegas earned himself the nickname, “Wheels,” because of his unrelenting passion for all things extreme. For athletes like Aaron, it’s always about conquering a higher ramp and performing the ultimate power-slide while churning the maximum amount of adrenaline through his system. Wicked.

Extreme sports are the driving force behind the evolution of the sporting world because it’s an environment that redefines and recreates itself over and over again. The disabled mobility sports arena is doing just that – defying physical limitations, staring danger in the face, and saying, “bring it on.” Although Wheelchair Extreme Sports haven’t emerged as prominently in South Africa, as in Europe and the USA, I hear that the adrenaline-bug travels fast. So watch this space…

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