When most celebrities become famous, they usually give up their old activities and focus on upper-class pursuits like saving the Africa and doing Hornet Cleanses (that’s exactly what it sounds like). Some participate in mainstream sports, we all know that Bill Murray loves golf for example. A few celebs aren’t satisfied with that. They have the money, they have the time, and they need something more. They need to feel alive, and so they turn to sports. Weird sports. The kind of sports that you don’t see on ESPN.
Jack Osbourne started climbing mountains to stay sober
(Skip ahead to the 5:00 minute mark to see a terrified Natalie Imbruglia run all out of faith in a snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains)
The last time you heard about Jack Osbourne may have been back in the previous decade when he was swearing at his mom on MTV’s The Osbournes. Turns out alcoholism does run in the family. After overcoming an addiction to booze and pills, he turned to extreme sports and hosted a reality TV show in Britain called Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junky. He dabbled in skydiving, martial arts, and jungle treks, but his biggest accomplishments came from the sport of rock climbing. In preparation for a climb on Yosemite’s El Capitan, he lost around 70 pounds. Then Osbourne climbed the 3,000 ft. Salathe Wall on El Capitan, on a route that is rated 5.10. For those who are unfamiliar with American difficulty ratings, the scale goes up to 5.14d. So Jack Osbourne didn’t set any records, but I don’t think we’ll see the children of other famous rock stars beating that climb any time soon.
Ed O’Neill is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
That’s right, the guy from Married With Children and Modern Family, Al Bundy himself, can probably kick your ass. This is no easy accomplishment either, as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also notoriously stingy with belts. That school of martial arts stresses ability. Which means that in order to progress, a student has to be able to actually beat other students of the same experience level or higher. Ed O’Neill has been completely devoted to the sport for over two decades. Which means he has some legitimate fighting skills, no wonder Married was such a violent show.
Geena Davis is really good at archery for some reason
Geena Davis loves, loves, archery. And she’s pretty good at it. The Academy Award-winning actress took up the sport at age 41, two years before she tried out for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She placed 23rd out of 300 and missed the US Olympic team, but that’s an impressive accomplishment. Especially since she just sort of took up the sport on a whim, and ended up training an average of six hours a day for the better part of two years.
The Green Power Ranger devoted his entire life to martial arts
Jason David Frank has played Tommy Oliver-the Green Power Ranger, off and on for 20 years. As you can see from his head, that role left its mark on him. In between Power Rangers gigs Frank continued to hone his martial arts skills, a process he started at age four. He has a scant MMA history filled only with wins and a high-degree black belt. He also founded a martial arts school and created his own form of karate. You may have noticed that I’ve refrained from taking several cheap shots at this guy, like calling him “moldy-haired Mark McGrath” or bashing on his MMA clothing brand Jesus Didn’t Tap. That’s because this guy eats, lives, and breathes two things: kicks to the face and the Green Ranger. This guy is the real deal, and I don’t need additional trouble in my life right now.
Mark Paul Gosselaar enjoys wearing spandex and riding bicycles-fast
(Mark Paul Gosselaar begins chastising Conan for not shaving his legs because that’s what “real cyclists” do around 3:05 in the video)
Mark Paul Gosselaar, of Saved By The Bell and Franklin and Bash fame, took up the sport of cycling a few years back and quickly got hooked. If you don’t know much about cycling, please consult this handy graphic. For whatever reason, MPG fell in love with the sport and got really good at it. He progressed quickly through the ranks of amateur cycling in the United States, winning several races along the way to becoming a Category 2 rider. That’s one step below the highest class of amateurs and he did it in only two years. You can check out his official race history here. He seems to have been slacking lately, something his friends on the pro team Garmin-Sharp noticed a few months back, so they sent him a full team uniform to get him back on his bike. Though he hasn’t completed any races this year, he holds an active USA Cycling license for 2014 and donated money to the anti-doping program RaceClean.