Newsweek: On the Edge

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Newsweek, at its best, captured cultural moments or presaged trends in American society (“We were all on the cover of Newsweek,” as Paul Simon put it).  This 1992 cover story I proposed hit the ascending curve of “adventure sports.”  It preceded the X Games, the Ecochallange, and the 1996 Mt. Everest debacle, when eight climbers died on the same day while on guided tours.  It was before America’s outdoor industry grew to a $70 billion juggernaut that capitalized on people pushing the edges of gravity—and sanity.  I signed up for an “adrenaline vacation package” that ultimately had me skydiving with the Flying Elvises in Las Vegas, as well as paragliding, bungee jumping, rock climbing and walking barefoot on hot coals.