Thursday, 7 February 2013

Auckland Sky Tower Jump. New Zealand Adventure Capital of Extreme Sports. . Zorbing death in Russia. 2014 Winter Olympics

New Zealand is known as the Adventure Capital of the world, where shooting black or white water rapids, sky-surfing, parapenting off high mountains, bungy jumping, paragliding, riding on a wire in a jet-propelled rocket, skiing on active volcanos and abseiling into canyons are quite normal extreme sports practiced there.     
Sky Tower, the tallest building in New Zealand, is  328 metres high
View of a jumper from SkyTower, Auckland, New Zealand
Extraordinarily enough, Auckland, the capital, provides extreme sport at the Sky Tower for jumpers and spectators.  People go to the restaurant where all day long they can watch jumpers hurtle past their large observation windows to the bottom in 11 seconds flat.  Operators often stop the jumpers short so they jerk  unexpectedly to a terrifying stop by the restaurant windows for a few seconds , dangling and swaying violently,  before the operators release them down again.  The terrified faces of the jumpers say it all and people there are ready with their cameras. Businesses have staff do the jump for a corporate team-building experience as a matter of course. Another extreme option is for SkyWalkers, who can walk with a safety harness around the unprotected 1.2m-wide ledge of the Sky Tower.
Zorb in Rotorua, New Zealand
Zorbing or hill rolling is rolling downhill inside an orb or zorb, which is usually transparent.  New Zealanders David and Andrew Akers built the first zorb hill park in 1994 in Rotorua as another adventure sport for  enthusiasts.

Zorbing can now be done in many places around the world, and zorbs are one of the symbols of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, "The transparency of the zorbs reflects the open, accessible and inclusive society that Sochi 2014 Games is helping to build.”  (Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 organizing committee).

Zorb going terrifyingly off-course in Dombai
Last month Denis Burakov, 27, died inside a zorb on a snow slope at Dombai, a ski resort in Russia's North Caucasus Mountains.  The zorb veered off the unfenced beginners’ ski slope and hurtled down a ravine.  Burakov broke his back and neck and died on the way to hospital. His companion, Vladimir Shcherbov, 33, suffered concussion and was lucky to survive.  He told the Herald Sun it was “like being in a washing machine on full spin”*.  Denis Burakov’s tragic death is currently being investigated: the penalty in Russia for criminal negligence causing death is a 10 year prison sentence.