` Extreme sports (also called action sports, aggro sports, and adventure sports) is a popular term for certain activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger. These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion, and highly specialized gear.
The definition of an extreme sport is not exact and the origin of the term is unclear, but it gained popularity in the 1990s when it was picked up by marketing companies to promote the X Games.
While use of the term "extreme sport" has spread far and wide to describe a multitude of different activities, exactly which sports are considered 'extreme' is debatable. There are however several characteristics common to most extreme sports. While not the exclusive domain of youth, extreme sports tend to have a younger-than-average target demographic. Extreme sports are rarely sanctioned by schools. Extreme sports tend to be more solitary than traditional sports . (Rafting and paintballing are notable exception, as they are done in teams.) In addition, beginning extreme athletes tend to work on their craft without the guidance of a coach (though some may hire a coach later).
Activities categorized by media as extreme sports differ from traditional sports due to the higher number of inherently uncontrollable variables. These environmental variables are frequently weather and terrain related, including wind, snow, water and mountains. Because these natural phenomena cannot be controlled, they inevitably affect the outcome of the given activity or event.
In a traditional sporting event, athletes compete against each other under controlled circumstances. While it is possible to create a controlled sporting event such as X Games, there are environmental variables that cannot be held constant for all athletes. Examples include changing snow conditions for snowboarders, rock and ice quality for climbers, and wave height and shape for surfers.
Freestyle skiing is a form of skiing which originally encompassed two disciplines: aerials, and moguls. Besides those freestyle skiing now consists of skicross, half-pipe and slope Style. Freeskiing is an Olympic discipline which shares characteristics with street skateboarding, BMX, and inline skating.
Freestyle skiing first began to be contested seriously in the 1960s and early 1970s, when it was often known as "hot-dogging." Bob Burns, who later went on to create The Ski brand skis, pioneered this style in Sun Valley, Idaho, beginning in 1965.
In the late 1960s other followers of the style included Wayne Wong, Flying Eddie Ferguson, Chico and Cokie Schuler and their mentor Chris Flanagan also, Roger Evans, John Clendenin, Hermann Goellner and Tom Leroy. Some people thought that this style of skiing was too dangerous and did not want it to be an Olympic sport. The free-form sport had few rules and was not without danger; knee injuries became a common phenomenon for professional freestylers.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) recognized freestyle as a sport in 1979 and brought in new regulations regarding certification of athletes and jump techniques in an effort to curb the dangerous elements of the competitions. The first World Cup series was staged in 1980 and the first World Championships took place in 1986 in Tignes, France. Freestyle skiing was a demonstration event at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Mogul skiing was added as an official medal event at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, and the aerials event was added for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.