Monday, September 21, 2009

Gladiators of the Current Millennium

Yesterday I opened up the latest Racer-X Illustrated magazine and saw one of the worst crash sequences ever! I was surprised, mostly because I never heard any news about this after it happened on any of the motorcross websites that I check. The rider, Cameron Sinclair, is one of 3 people in the world to ever land a double-backflip on a motorcycle, and the only one that's willing to throw this insane trick down more than once each year at the X-games. The crash sequence listed his injuries: Broken cheek bone, broken shoulder, and head trauma. Several frames from the sequence gave me a pretty good indication at which exact moment these injuries took place. It also made me weak at my stomach. His tests for mild brain damage came back positive, but he is expected to make a full recovery, thankfully. Especially considering Jeremy Lusk's fatal crash earlier this year in Mexico (2008 X-games gold medalist).

In my opinion, I seriously have no ****ing clue what drives these guys to do this. Sure you might score a California trophy wife out of the deal, (or 100 plus 'temporary wives' annually depending on your morals), but the divorce rate is around 95% when you're a paraplegic. Obviously, nobody is holding a gun to their head. I can understand hitting the jumps, and doing what were once progressive tricks that now couldn't even qualify you for a night program, which are relatively low risk. But the stuff these guys have been doing since 2003 puts them in ICU for weeks after one mistake. Ten years ago the worst injury was usually just a broken femur. The level of riding in competitions now requires them to literally risk their lives every time they throw a leg over a motorcycle.

To me, the risk would never be worth the glory in that sport. As a spectator I've always loved and admired watching what they are able to do on a 250lb beast. They are definitely some of the toughest athletes both mentally and physically on the planet, in my opinion. Which is why I believe they are the modern day gladiators - in contrast to those beefcakes you see on the television wearing red, white, and blue spandex whacking each other over the head...

Here is Cameron Sinclair’s double-flip crash from Madrid, Spain:

Here's some guys making art on a 90 foot long leap

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