Immersive extreme sports exhibit opens at Denver Museum of Nature & Science |

Immersive extreme sports exhibit opens at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

After opening Friday, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's "Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits," exhibit will be open daily – sans Christmas Day – through April 12.
Courtesy Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DENVER — A new immersive extreme sports exhibition is now open at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for those looking to “go inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes.”

The exhibition, dubbed “Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits,” attempts to educate museum goers of the psychological motivations and science needed to undertake such popular action sports as wingsuit flying, ice and rock climbing, parkour and free diving.

The exhibition — which opened Friday and is free with general admission to the museum — goes inside the minds and bodies of such accomplished Colorado extreme athletes like 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and rock and ice climber Maureen Beck; Estes Park-native, rock climber and skier Tommy Caldwell; and do-it-all thrill seeker Andrew Fraser, among others.

The new exhibition — which will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 12 (except on Christmas Day) — seeks to delve into, as museum spokesperson Jamie Winter put it, “the common perception that extreme sports are only for ‘adrenaline junkies.’

“While these sports are thrilling to both participants and fans,” Winter said in a press release, “‘Extreme Sports’ dispels misperceptions and shows these activities typically involve high levels of intentional technical skill and decision-making, intense physical and mental exertion and proper use of specialized gear.”

Winter said guests will experience extreme sports through the exhibitions stories of international athletes, tales which illustrate amazing commitment and perseverance. Winter said there will also be immersive exhibits and hands-on activities that showcase science, creativity and innovation. The goal of the exhibit is to inspire guests to learn more about their own personal limits. 

The exhibition is also anchored around a special American Ninja Warrior-developed course created by the Colorado-based Ninja Nation obstacle course arena company. The obstacle course is one way guests can immerse themselves in the extreme sports profiled at the exhibit, along with the ability to virtually race backcountry slopes. Other elements include balancing along a high-line, discovering what it’s like to pilot a wingsuit, taking a virtual leap off of a cliff, racing in the footsteps of a parkour athlete and getting into an upside-down halfpipe photo opportunity. The exhibit’s Immersion Room also provides guests with the opportunity to ride a mountain bike and a whitewater kayak.

“Colorado is the perfect state for the U.S. debut of this exhibition,” Dr. Garth Spellman, the museum’s curator of ornithology and the exhibit’s curatorial advisor said in a statement. “Our mountains, snow, skies, and waterways provide the perfect playground for extreme activities that have born world-renowned athletes.”

Other extreme sports Colorado athletes profiled at the exhibit include American Ninja Warrior Brian Arnold of Brighton; American Ninja Warrior Geoff Britten of Castle Rock; skydiver, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot, rock and ice climber, snowboarder, mountain biker and diver Dr. Omer Mei-Dan of the University of Colorado; adventure filmmaker, rock climber, skier and surfer Peter Mortimer of Boulder; skateboarder David Reyes of Denver; and the Colorado Springs extreme family of June and Eldon Cornish, Staci Suter and Jesse, Kristina, Alexis and Megan Mascarenas.

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