Why they do it: Extreme athletes on 60 Minutes

What drives an extreme athlete to push the limits? Bob Simon has been there and has some insight.

With the broadcast featuring extreme athletes this week, it made sense for us at Overtime to have a chat with correspondent Bob Simon. Through his own reporting on thrill-seekers and extraordinary athletes, Bob has some insights on why these people do what they do.

"They're all addicted to adrenaline, which is a very, very powerful addiction," Bob says. "Once you've raced down a downhill course, or swum with sharks, or snow boarded or any of these things, there's a thrill, a sensation there, that can't be duplicated."

And Bob knows a little bit about adrenaline. As you'll see in the piece, he's gone face to face with great white sharks and put himself into the middle of an outrageous skateboarding stunt by Shaun White and Tony Hawk. He's also tried his hand at bullfighting and has the scar to prove it. (By the way, Bob's skateboarding trick and bullfighting footage have never been shown on television.)


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Are you an extreme athlete? What drives you to push the limit? If you're like most of us and would never free climb in a million years, what's your opinion of these men and women? Brave, fun, or foolish?

Editor's Note: This segment was originally published Feb. 26, 2012.

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