Thrill Seekers: 15 Remarkable Women in Extreme Sports

Chicago Review. Mar. 2021. 224p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781641604802.
Gr 5-8–This collective biography profiles 15 extreme sports female athletes, who have reached the highest levels of competition in their chosen sport. The text highlights three athletes in each of the five sections, which are loosely grouped by the type of activity. The featured sports include wingsuit diving, iceberg diving, parkour, downhill mountain biking, and ultra running. The most prominent athlete profiled is surfer Bethany Hamilton, a white American girl who lost her arm in a shark attack. Hamilton became a top professional. Each chapter describes the women’s backgrounds and childhoods, how they discovered their passion, and the significant amount of time they dedicated to achieving their dreams. Interesting sidebars provide brief histories of each sport. Emphasis is also placed on the amount of thought and preparation each woman puts into safety measures. Most of the women have been able to achieve professional-level success; only a few have to hold traditional jobs. However, the text doesn’t paint a realistic picture of what’s necessary to live this type of life. There’s very little mention of the social and financial support systems needed in order to devote one’s life to these activities.
VERDICT A useful collection of light reading that serves as an introduction to extreme sports; recommended for libraries looking to liven up their sports collections.

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