Downhill Skateboarding – 3

Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The obstacles event is run over a 2 mile course; boarders have to navigate seventy different objects placed in their path, ranging from trailers to concrete blocks and tripwires. Dimitri Stepanov holds the record with 5 wins between 1998 and 2006, although he had to retire after the 2008 race when he misjudged the height of a low-loader and hit his head on the metalwork knocking him unconscious. A repeat episode could have resulted in severe brain injuries and he took the specialist’s advice to give up the sport.

The most difficult race of the extravaganza is the cones pick up race over 2 miles. This is the event where elbow pads, knee pads, and helmets are mandatory. The individual boarders, racing against the clock, have to pick up 17 cones placed every 200 yards on the course. The cones are made of foam and are eighteen inches high. The cones are placed across the whole width of the road in such a manner that favours neither left-handed nor right-handed boarders. The boarder must cross the finishing line holding all 17 cones or he/she is disqualified. Imbee Park from South Korea is the absolute master of this event; she is a former gymnast who has impeccable balance on the board and so can crouch down on her haunches and grab the cones as they pass, storing them on her board rather than holding them, which reduces wind resistance. Park won the event every year between 2001 and 2010, except for 2008 when she was pregnant and was advised not to race.


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