Never heard of ice cross downhill before? Neither had most of Canada until the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship exploded onto the world of hockey in 2001. Now held annually in January, this extreme sports event in Quebec City draws followers and participants from around the world.
Think of downhill skiing but substitute skating instead; then add in some great roller derby action. Throw in some BMX biking jumps. Combine all of this with ice hockey athletes, a 196-foot vertical drop over a 1,280 foot track—and you’ve got ice cross downhill.
This exciting new sport sends four skaters down the course as they vie to finish first while careening along at speeds up to 43 mph. It’s crazy, fun and scary all at the same time. Although rules do not permit any physical contact, crashes occur on a regular basis, which excites the crowds even more.
In 2009, two Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships were held: one in Quebec City, with another in Munich. The upcoming 2010 season promises to be bigger and better than ever with events to be held in Munich again, Valkenburg in the Netherlands, and Moscow; with the event finale to be held in their original Quebec City location.
Athletes from around the world participate in the event, and notables have been Adam Green, Anthony Yearego, and Brian Zhou from the U.S.; Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, Gabriel Andre, Kevin Olson, and Christian Papillon of Canada; along with seven-time Red Bull Crashed Ice World Champion Jasper Felder of Sweden, who’s also a U.S. citizen.
In 2010, the Red Bull Crashed Ice track was almost attached to the gorgeous Chateau Frontenac, and ended at Place de Paris on the St. Lawrence River in downtown Quebec City. Each year the course is changed slightly to continually add more challenges to the already dizzying course.
Join more than 120,000 fans to watch the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships. It’s a great spectator sport for anyone who’s a hockey fan or for those looking for a thrilling event to watch up close and personal. Ice cross downhill is an exhilarating event that inspires young athletes to have fun and do their best when competing. And of course, you get the added bonus of being in vibrant historical Quebec City.
What is and isn’t allowed at the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship?
It may sometimes look like anything goes on the ice, but there are strict rules which have to be adhered to at all times. With four athletes racing down courses as narrow as five metres in places, there are inevitably plenty of thrills and spills at every Red Bull Crashed Ice stop. However, any athlete judged to have intentionally slowed down or stopped another athlete by unfair means – for example by tripping or holding onto the other racer’s jersey – will be disqualified from the competition.
Where will the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship 2011 take place?
In 2011 the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship comprise four stops: Munich (GER), Valkenburg (NED), Moscow (RUS) and Quebec (CAN). The World Championship once again kicks off in Munich, where 50,000 hardy souls braved the January cold in 2010 to witness local hero Martin Niefnecker (GER) take victory. Next up is the historic city of Valkenburg in the Netherlands, a hotbed of talented speedskaters and a brand new stop to the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship. Just weeks later the athletes head off to another city making its debut, the Russian capital Moscow, where temperatures well below zero and perfect racing conditions are guaranteed. Finally, the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship once again returns to Quebec (CAN) for the season finale, where in 2010 an incredible 120,000 fans lined the huge course winding its way through the city’s beautiful old town to see Canadian skater Kyle Croxall take the win in front of his home crowd.
Would you guys be crazy enough to try this out?