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Extreme Ironing

The sport of extreme ironing was born in 1997 when British mountaineer Phil (Steam) Shaw, uncertain whether to stay home and do his laundry or go climbing, simply did both. As a joke, he knocked off a few shirts at the summit, having toted his board and iron with him. Word (and photographs) of the stunt spread quickly and the "Extreme Ironing Board" (the sport's governing body) had soon brnached into several countries.

In 2003, South African Troye Wallett won extreme ironing's so-called Rowenta Trophy... for ironing an item while suspended over a 300-metre gorge.

[Among the other competitors? A team of British climbers on Everest who claimed a new ironing altitude record after pressing several items at Base Camp One, 17,000 feet up the Himalayan peak (8th place); Dive Girl, who ironed in The Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt at a depth of 101m (4th place); and Australia's Robert Fry, who jumped off a cliff in the Blue Mountains with an ironing board, laundry and parachute (2nd place).]

[Cairo still boasts a guild of foot ironers. These workers position clothing and guide an ancient 35-lb iron with their hands while applying pressure with their feet (and spraying a fine mist directly from their mouths).]

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