This year at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, two new extreme sports events joined the Olympic lineup: freestyle BMX and skateboarding. Putting aside the complications caused by the pandemic, getting into the Olympics is a big milestone for professional skateboarding, a sport that was once so disorganized that it once had a major competition officiated by judges who were allegedly high out of their minds and once gave a competitor extra time in the middle of the event because, as the announcer of the 1999 X Games explained, “We make up the rules as we go along.”1,2
But this was actually the second motocross competition at the Olympics this year. Back in 2008, BMX first made its Olympic debut as a racing event. Together, they’re two different sides of the same sport. Maybe this is a testament to the diversity within extreme sports, but it’s also an indication that there’s no single or correct way to adapt the creative, freeform energy of extreme sports into a competitive event.
When extreme sports catapulted into mainstream culture in the late 90s, video games faced with a similar challenge. How do you take an activity that defies structure and, well, impose structure on it? How do you make a rule-driven video game out of something that was, at that moment, barely a professional sport? » Read more about 3Xtreme