Sunday, May 18, 2008

Death of motorcycle champion Robert Dunlop - a fatal attraction to risk?

Fans defend dangerous sport

The death of motorcycle champion Robert Dunlop reminds us again that risky behaviour has a huge attraction for people and maybe for men in particular. He died in an accident during a practice session for the North West 200 in Portrush last Thursday evening. Next day on the Liveline programme on RTÉ, caller after caller lined up to defend the sport while acknowledging the recent deaths of motorcyclists and of Dunlop's brother Joey in 2000. The basic message was that people who get hooked by the sport wouldn't want to live without it. Do they get addicted to the adrenalin rush? Following his death, his widow Louise said Robert Dunlop knew the sport would one day kill him.

"He was prepared to accept the risk," she told The Irish Independent.

"He had to be in the thick of it himself. That was just his way."

"The lights have gone out for us," she added. "Nothing will ever be the same."

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