Platform Relay

Crazy dangerous and complicated rock-climbing, paragliding competition with an element of diving.
That’s the best way I can describe it!

Really, it was like anything I had ever seen before [in real life]. I wouldn’t be surprised if a sport like this became a reality someday. 

The competition was similar to a parkour relay race. Each team member was responsible for one challenge. The new extreme sport required more than just skill, it was a test of bravery, balance, precision, strength and speed. 

Teams were grouped into heats. Each team member was positioned at a different check point along the relay course. First was the climbing wall challenge. The competitors needed to carefully choose the best path to reach their teammate waiting at the top of the climbing wall. Once they reached the top and rang the bell, the second challenge began. Instead of a running track or mapped out route, the challenges travelled upwards on platforms. Something like the 3 level olympic diving platform. 

The second challenge was a test of balance. The competitors need to walk across a narrow platform while balancing a 2.5 metre long pole. While they may balance the pole however they like, this is considered one of the most difficult challenges as it requires a lot of concentration. “Slow and steady wins the race” is the best way to approach the second challenge. The competitors also have to factor in the weather conditions, which could greatly impact their performance. The most notorious being heat and strong winds. 

The third challenge, the diving challenge takes place on the highest platform. This challenge was all about precision and planning. While other heats take place on the lower platforms, the divers need to plan their dive and aim within a certain perimeter similar to a dart board [or archery]. 

It only took a few years for the high intensity and thrilling Platform Relays to become popular all over the world. Mixed gender teams were one of the most appealing aspects of the sport and so it quickly became popular with viewers. 

That being said, it was similar to most competitive sports in a different way, sponsorship. Sponsorship had a big impact on how far a team could go in the competition. A team could have all the skill, experience and determination in the world but without a good sponsor, they might not make it far in the Platform Relays. 

Teams with the best coaches, large training facilities and shiny equipment were always in the limelight, just like celebrities. They were always the ones standing on the podium. 

The once thrilling sport was adopted to become another popularity competition and a favourite in the bookies. What started out as a competitive sport became the victim of greed and money. Each year, the difficulty of the competition decreased. New platforms were added every so often, platforms which were more game-like than extreme sports.

It only took eight years for the once world-renowned relay event to loose its soul and sportsmanship. The founders of the Platform Relay were heartbroken to see the sport they loved turn into a tv game show.

However there was still hope for the sport. Once a year Platform Relay returns to its routes at the Founding Arena. The first and only outdoor arena built specially for the unique sport competition. The Platform Relay: Grand Prix (aka the Founding Festival) as the only event where any team could enter wether they be high schoolers, college kids or adults. Originally this event was created for amateur athletes to show off their skills and have a chance of becoming an All Star sports team. The Grand Prix was an event the Platform Relay founders were passionate about as they themselves started out as spirited teenagers before becoming professional athletes. 

But sadly, things changed when corporate companies started sponsoring relay teams. There was no longer any equality between the participants and year after year the sponsored teams were the champions of the Grand Prix. The Founding Festival lost its purpose and after ten years not once was an amateur team able to win the Founding Festival. 

Not yet anyway. 

To return Platform Relay to the extreme sport it once was, the founders came up with a plan. For one year the three founders each coached a university team of athletes to enter the Platform Relay Grand Prix. The teams had no sponsorship and only had access to mediocre training equipment. However, under the guidance of the founders, the three teams improved leaps and bounds. After a year they entered the Grand Prix driven by their competitive nature, confident in their teamwork and skills. 

No one believed it was possible; no the fans, the sponsors, presenters or competitors. But for the first time in over a decade not one, but two rookie teams stood on the winners podium taking first and second place. 

What happened next (in the dream):

  • One of the amateur athletes was the dark horse of the competition. Placing in the top three, she overtook some of the favourites. She could hardly believe it herself. 
  • Some people lost a lot of money because of the unlikely outcome. 
  • One of the prizes she received was a limited edition, state of the art sports watch. There were less than one hundred of them in the world. 
  • Unknown to her, the watch had been tampered with by those that suffered defeat after she won.
  • Not long after putting it on, the watch sparks and explodes into tiny fragments some of which pierced her flesh. 
  • The watch exploded on her wrist. A bone poked out of her skin and blood splattered on her face making it hard to see. She was lucky her whole hand hadn’t been blown off. 
  • Aware of the corruption behind the scenes, on of the Platform Relay board members takes the girl away before she meets any harm. 
  • He takes her to his lifelong friend, a veteran platform and renowned sports surgeon specialised in athletic injuries. She now owns a sports equipment store / cafe where the interior was high ceilings and the walls were rock-climbing walls. 
  • However she didn’t treat every athlete who came to her. They have to be worthy of her skills. Witnessing the sport she loved turn into a money-making game show broke her heart. She had rejected to work for dozens of well known brands who sponsored teams.
  • To discover wether someone was worthy or not she tested perseverance by getting them to climb up a wall untethered using only a rope and a crash mat; all while injured. If they were able to climb to the top then they passed the test. 

The end