Extreme Ironing

As you may or may not be aware, a new sport, Extreme Ironing, is taking the world by storm. Combining the extreme sports movement with the domestic pleasures of performing laundry, the aesthetic appeal of freshly ironed shirts in the great outdoors is not to be denied.

Extreme Ironing was started in Leicester, England, in 1999. The first Extreme Ironing World Championships were held in 2002 in Germany, involving 3 countries and 5 teams. Since then, Extreme Ironing has picked up a sponsor (appliance maker Rowenta), been mentioned in a wide swath of media (the BBC in particular has some good photos) , and has had a documentary made on it by Channel 4 in Britain, a review by Time Out quoted in Wikipedia seems positive:

There is a near-tearful moment as Steam, the Brit captain, struggling with his ironing-board in the middle of a fast-flowing river breaks into a verse of God Save the Queen to rally the troops. Any other sport and you would have said he holds the hopes of a nation in his hand. Here you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Wikipedia has a more in-depth history of the sport.

Indeed, Extreme Ironing’s burgeoning popularity has caused some growing pains, including an offshoot Urban Housework which includes vacuuming dirt outdoors, an activity which has raised tensions along both sides of the divide, with some accusing urban housework of being un-environmentally friendly (although as mentioned on wikipedia, UH devotees point out that the vacuum is eventually emptied).

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