Evil Knievil, Austin Powers and slopestyle participants all have one thing in common: they like to live dangerously. While Knievil and Powers proactively sought out danger, aerial skiers and snowboarders teeter the line between staring danger in the face and speeding right past it.
Surprising to most NRA members and casual Olympic fans, the only sport in any Olympic event that requires a gun to compete (Biathlon) is not the most dangerous winter sport. Rather, the most dangerous Olympic event is, for lack of a better way to call it, any type of aerial skiing and snowboarding. These are events like slopestyle, which consists of participants hurling themselves down a steep hill covered in jumps, grind rails, half-pipes and various other “snow park” features.
If you love a good crash or wipeout on snow, the other events recommended for setting your DVR to record are: Snowboard Cross, half-pipe and freestyle skiing.
Defining the most dangerous sport in the Winter Olympics comes down to one main factor: injuries. While there have been no reported deaths from aerial skiing or snowboarding competitions during the Olympics, the injury rate is sky-high.
For this injury conversation, ski/snowboarding aerial athletes are lumped in with slopestyle athletes, as they are all performing relatively the same tasks in their respective competitions. A whopping 49 percent of ski aerial athletes in Sochi reported injuries, while snowboard cross posted a 34-percent injury rate and slopestyle snowboarding weighed in at a 37-percent injury rate. Which makes sense considering these athletes are flying down a hill or up a half-pipe faster than a car in a residential neighborhood while performing flips, 360 degree twists, grinds down metal poles and jumps flinging them airborne 20 feet into the wild blue yonder.
So, to put it bluntly and as clearly as possible, the most dangerous Winter Olympics event is basically anything involving jumps, skis, snowboards and speed. If you’re a junky for action and crashes followed by hysterical crying and ligament tears, make sure to tune in to ski/snowboard slopestyle, freestyle, ski aerials and snowboard cross. Get your popcorn ready.