One final post for 2009, to bring the curtain down on a great year. These are my two favourite alternative sports videos of the year, for you to enjoy as the curtain comes down on a great (and controversial) year in sport. It's easy to be bogged down in the detail and to overlook the remarkable, which I hope these videos capture to some extent.
First up, a video that we featured in April this year, showing Danny Macaskill, a trials rider, showing some skills over a period of a few months in Edinburgh. Everything about this video - the skill, the setting, the soundtrack (a song by Band of Horses called "Funeral", for those who are interested), the editing, is just breath-taking, and it's my favourite video of 2009.
Next, a video of extreme sport - wingsuit jumping. What is most incredible about this is how difficult it must be to learn it. Learning a sport like golf or tennis is difficult, sure, but there's a very set process by which you improve, systematically acquiring skill, practicing, obtaining feedback and then improving.
An activity like this, there is one chance. I can't get my mind around how remarkable the process is by which these guys learn to do this. I assume these men all begin as sky-divers, evolve into base-jumping and then eventually graduate to 'buzzing the walls' while wearing outfits that you'd expect to see in a sci-fi movie. The penalty for miscalculation is severe, and the opportunities to experiment limited, and these men are right on the limit of extreme. It's quite incredible. Enjoy!
And on that note, a final thank you to everyone for reading, contributing and supporting us on The Science of Sport in 2009!
We hope that 2010 brings more of the same, and we'll do our very best to keep covering it!
Happy New Year, everyone!