A couple days late I know, but I wanted to post about my recent experience at the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships held in St. Paul this past weekend (Jan. 12-14).
What a trip.
For those of you unfamiliar with what exactly the Red Bull Crashed Ice is (I know I was up until I actually attended the event), it's a competition of speed, agility and all out craziness hosted by Red Bull throughout the world, appearing for the first time ever on U.S. soil with the first round of the championships hosted here in Minnesota. The contest--which originated in Stockholm, Sweden in 2001-- pits anywhere from two to four skaters at a time down an icy track where turns, hills, and moguls up the anti to see who is the world's best.
An event free to the public, I joined the mass crowd of thousands Friday night at the Cathedral where the track wove from the steps of the Cathedral and down Selby Avenue, prancing through the city for 1,332 feet.
Friday featured the second round of eliminations and there certainly was no shortage of "oh no" moments as the racers sped down steep hills and were lifted up in to the air before, appropriately given the title of the event, many came crashing down hard on to the ice over the course of an hour and a half.
No major injuries from the evening were reported although I imagine the amount of bruises well surpasses the number (64) of U.S. skaters and potentially even the combined international skaters (64).
Many Minnesotans moved on to Saturday's final round but unfortunately no U.S. skaters made it into the top five, with our Canadian rivals on ice taking home first place honors and moving on to compete at the next level of competition in the Netherlands Feb.2-4.
St. Cloud native Cameron Naasz did earn rookie honors for placing first among rookie contenders. Naasz was also named to the newly established Team U.S.A that intends to be a presence at international ice cross downhill events in the future.
All in all, a very exciting event that I would hope to see return back to our beloved state once again and highly recommend you all to check out. Despite the zero degree temperatures and snowfall, the event drew more than 80,000 people out for Saturday's final event. If there's ice/skating, people in Minnesota will come. It just seems right.
P.S. Enjoy the photos as well. 5'6'' makes some high quality things a bit difficult but thanks to hillside standing and tippy-toes, I think I got most of the course for your viewing pleasure.