Adam Ash

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Extreme ironing

From Wikipedia: Extreme Ironing (or EI) is a sport in which people take an ironing board to a remote location and iron a few items of clothing. Locations include a mountainside of a difficult climb; a forest; in a canoe; while skiing or snowboarding; on top of large bronze statues; in the middle of a street; even when free-diving, though this possibility defeats the purpose of ironing. The ironing itself is either solo or in a group; and in existing formations or freestyle. EI supposedly combines the excitement of an extreme sport with the satisfaction of freshly ironed clothes.
The sport was started in England by Phil Shaw. In 1999, Shaw, nicknamed "Steam", embarked on an international tour to promote EI. In 2002, the first World Championship took place near Munich, including 80 teams from 10 countries. In 2003 the Rowenta Trophy was won by a group from South Africa by ironing across a gorge at the Wolfberg Cracks. Later that year, Phil Shaw brought out a book entitled Extreme Ironing.
Following the 2004 Summer Olympics, 5-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave backed extreme ironing to become an Olympic sport. "It's a little bizarre, but in a few years' time, rowing could be chopped from the Olympics and extreme ironing could be in!" Steam adds: "Although Sir Steve obviously wasn't really proposing the demise of rowing as an Olympic sport, it's still fantastic to get the backing of Britain's finest athlete. It might see the start of a new style of extreme ironing with competitors balanced on rowing boats."
World Records: The record for ironing at altitude is held by Iron Man Carrick, who ironed at the summit of Mount Aconcagua, Argentina (6959m). The underwater depth record is held by Dive Girl, ironing 100 metres underwater off the coast of Egypt. In January 2005, a group of Australian scuba divers snatched the underwater group record from a team of Kiwis when 43 ironists ironed underwater. In April 2004, Crease Lightnin' set the extreme ironing London Marathon record for taking full extreme ironing equipment around the course and ironing a couple of items on the way in 4 hours 8 minutes.
"Extreme sports" spawned off Extreme Ironing: 1. Urban housework; people vacuum the outdoors. Many say this causes damage to the environment. 2. Extreme accounting, considered a parody, is actually sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. 3. Xtreme Sandwiching, a contest sponsored by Marmite spread.


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