Do Airbags Take the Risk Out of Extreme Sports?
Did you see the video of the pro-snowboarder who survived an avalanche because she deployed an emergency airbag? Meesh Hytner was snowboarding in the backcountry in Colorado when she created an avalanche. She was wearing a special device that allowed her to stay above the snow. Some people believe the video was a marketing stunt. The name of the company is very obvious in the video. Others are sure that no company would use a real human as a test dummy in a dangerous stunt such as this. If you enjoy using authentic materials in the classroom, show the video below to your students. For high level learners, share a related news article such as Gizmodo’s or Time’s. Read through some of the comments from the skeptics. Then have a discussion.
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Here are a few questions to get your students talking after watching the video.
- What saved the snowboarder’s life?
- What is the “backcountry”?
- Do you think this was a marketing stunt? Why or why not?
- Do you think athletes that engage in extreme sports will buy this type of protection?
- Do you snowboard or surf? Would you wear an airbag if it could save your life?
- What is a “test dummy”?
- What makes an extreme sport extreme? Will safety measures like airbags make backcountry skiing and boarding more popular for everyday people?
“I felt like I was riding a mattress down the stairs,” Meesh Hytner, pro-snowboarder
Our Discussion Starters section features a full-length lesson on Extreme Sports. If your students are interested in discussing this issue, be sure to print out this lesson. You can preview this lesson with our FREE podcast: What a Rush!
Sports Lessons in the ESL-Library
Famous Things: Hockey | Soccer | Golf | The Olympics
Discussion Starters: Athlete Salaries | Extreme Sports
Mini-Biographies: Muhammad Ali | Jackie Robinson| Wa-Tho-Huk
Famous People: Pele | Terry Fox
Winter Sports Flashcards
Sports Equipment Flashcards
While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about.
Tara Benwell is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry. She is the media director and head writer for ESL-Library. Her debut novel, The Proper Order of Things is available on Amazon and in the iBookstore. Website: http://www.tarabenwell.com Twitter: @tarabenwell