In this Oct. 20, 2014 photo provided by Paragon Space Development Corporation, Google executive Alan Eustace is shown before a test flight for his Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 leap from the edge of space that broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert outside Roswell. Eustace's supersonic jump was part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corp. and its Stratospheric Explorer team, which has been working secretly for years to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore some 20 miles above the Earth's surface.
Photograph by Paragon Space Development Corporation/AP
By Tom Huddleston Jr.
October 28, 2014

Many people were surprised last week to learn that Alan Eustace had successfully outdone Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner by setting a new world record for high-altitude skydiving with his death-defying jump from the edge of the stratosphere.

Even more surprising? Eustace, who leaped from a balloon more than 25 miles above the earth and fell at more than 800 miles per hour, isn’t your typical daredevil. In fact, he’s a 57-year old computer scientist who also happens to be Google’s senior vice president of knowledge.

Kudos to Eustace –who is more than a decade Baumgartner’s senior – for taking some time off from his day job to tackle such a heart-racing feat. Of course, it occurred to us that Eustace’s side-project was probably a bit expensive, as far as hobbies go. No one has said how much the feat cost Eustace, who spent several years preparing with a small team of scientists and engineers and who very well could have received outside funding. After all, Eustace needed a specially-designed spacesuit with a life-support system as well as a special parachute and helium balloon. (Baumgartner’s balloon reportedly cost about $70,000, though his jump was sponsored by Red Bull.)

In other words, it’s the kind of sport only a reasonably wealthy executive (or, in Baumgartner’s case, a corporate-sponsored daredevil) would likely take up. Here’s a look at a five other expensive sports for only the most affluent of athletes, and some of the top executives who love them.


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