If we were to compare SEALs to athletes, then the closest type of athletes they can be classified with are the athletes who engage in X-Games. When we come to think of it, it is the SEALs who are always sent to the most dangerous locations to do near impossible feats – basically what the X-Games are all about.
The X in X-Games is short for extreme. As the name suggests, the sports activities featured in these games are over-the-top. There will always be an element of danger and an unbelievable level of difficulty that can only be matched by skills and bravado.
It is held twice a year in the United States, once during winter and again in the summer. This year’s Winter X-Games just wrapped up last weekend in Aspen, Colorado, its home until 2012. The Summer X-Games are usually held in August.
Recognizing that many of the traits they want in a recruit are possessed by extreme sports athletes, the SEALs invest a hefty portion of its recruitment budget in the games. This year the Navy shares stellar billing with Taco Bell, Jeep and Edge Shave Gel as one of the Winter X-Games’ major sponsors.
There are few other occasions where the Navy SEALs can find a gathering of teenagers and twenty-somethings who are physically, emotionally and mentally prepared to handle the rigors of being a SEAL. The other two events they maintain a strong presence in are the Summer X-Games in California and the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
The Navy had a booth in Aspen last weekend where they displayed equipment such as scuba gear and parachutes from the Naval Special Warfare and the Naval Special Operations divisions. They also ran videos on HD of the intense SEAL training sessions and missions, which can undoubtedly only be described by one word: EXTREME!
X-Games fans had a blast showing off on the booth pull-up bar and the run-all-day contests. Winners got to take home snowboards.
The SEALs were actually not there to recruit. Their presence was more of a public relations effort towards spreading awareness about the special operations unit. There were pamphlets available, though, and an interested person can opt to have the Navy contact him about how to enlist.