The news of Caleb Moore's tragic death is an unfortunate reminder of how truly dangerous extreme sports can be.
According to Rachel George of USA Today, the 25-year-old Moore, who suffered a scary snowmobile crash last week at the Winter X Games, passed away on Thursday morning.
The only word that comes to mind is heartbreaking.
Moore, who often competed with his younger brother, Colten, was an accomplished ATV and snowmobile racer. He took up the winter sport just over three years ago in 2009, but had already earned four career medals at the X Games.
But he wasn't just a tremendous athlete. Judging by the outpour of support and compassionate words, he was a wonderful human being, as well.
Former X Games host Sal Masekela made that clear with his tweet:
My deepest condolences to the family of Caleb Moore. He was a wonderful kid that loved what he did with all his heart.— Sal Masekela (@SalMasekela) January 31, 2013
This is an incredibly saddening event, and it serves as a painful reminder of another recent tragedy in sports.
Just over one year ago, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke passed away after an equally tragic crash on a halfpipe in Park City, Utah (via Andrew Keh of The New York Times).
Burke won four X Games gold medals, was named Best Female Action Sports Athlete at the 2007 ESPYs and lived life to the fullest. Her death wasn't just a brutal loss for the sport of skiing, but it was also felt—and continues to be felt—throughout the entire world.
Furthering the dangerous parallel, Burke's accident occurred at the same halfpipe that snowboarder Kevin Pearce was injured at. According to Stephen Boyle of SI.com, he suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury during that crash.
Extreme sports provide us with some of the most exciting, entertaining events in the world, but unfortunately, they come with ample risk.
This tragic accident will undoubtedly cause people to ponder some of those risks, as Philip DeFranco did:
Very sad to hear of Caleb Moore's death.First death during the Winter X-Games and it makes you think about the safety of the sport.— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 31, 2013
Caleb Moore's all-too-soon passing will serve as a reminder that safety will always be a concern in the sport, but it also shows that these athletes are living life to the fullest and doing what they love—no matter the risk.