Athletes push their minds and bodies to their extremes for their passion even at the cost of risking their lives. When it comes to survival in extreme and unfavorable conditions, these athletes are the ones we look up to for measuring what is humanly possible. They serve as self-appointed test subjects, leaving many in a stunned mode. As a way of knowing and honoring the most extreme athletes history has ever witnessed, we have tried to put together a list of 5 such athletes, based on five categories: sky, snow, race, water and climb.
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Called the greatest climber history has ever witnessed, Reinhold Messner is a legendary Italian mountain climber who is famous for making the first solo ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. He is also the first climber to ascend all fourteen peaks in the world that are over 8,000 meters high. Between the years 1950 and 1964, Messner led over 500 ascents, primarily in the dolomites. He has also written over 65 books based on his experience in mountaineering.
The sport of surfing would be incomplete without a mention of Bethany Hamilton. At age 13, Hamilton was surfing near her home in Kauai when she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Though Bethany lost the whole of her left arm, she was back on a surfboard only a month after her release from the hospital. Since then, Hamilton has risen to the top of international surfing, and has won countless competitions and championships. Her autobiography, Soul Surfer became an instant bestseller, and even a film was made about Hamilton’s terrifying ordeal, recovery, and unique determination to be one of the sharpest surfer in history.
Xavier is a French big mountain snowboarder began his pro career competing on the boarder cross pro tour and later competed for France at the 2006 Winter Olympics. He is a two-time gold medalist at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships. He has been named “big mountain rider of the year” by Snowboarder Magazine.
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Kenneth Paul Block also known as Ken Block has managed to remain one of the most influential figures in extreme sports for decades. Over the course of his career, Block has been a skateboarder, snowboarder, and motocross athlete. currently, Ken is a professional rally driver with Hoonigan Racing Division, which he co-owns as well.
“Throughout my career, I’ve had some liveries that I am really proud of, which I feel have set a high bar for the world of motorsports. Ken expressed through the caption of one of his YouTube videos.
Jeb Corliss is a professional skydiver and base jumper who caught the public eye after his historic BASE jumping from the Eiffel Tower, Seattle’s Space Needle, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia. Born on March 25, 1976 near Sante Fe, New Mexico and Jeb has survived several extreme and record breaking jumps till date. The first person to fly through a waterfall wearing a wingsuit, in 2013 Jeb completed a jump called “flying dagger” in which he jumped out of a helicopter wearing a wingsuit and flew through a narrow crack in Mount Jianglang in China.