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Edmonton Crash Course

by James Jackson

They say Edmonton is the place to make something; a place where opportunity is boundless, success is contagious, and authentic experience seekers thrive. In saying that, I think it’s no surprise that the most innovative, exciting, and downright outrageous sport event in the world has chosen to call Edmonton home - it’s flattering really.

Imagine for a second, sliding down a 60-degree pitch of manmade ice at speeds of up to 70km/hour, trying to gracefully negotiate a hairpin turn with a 220-pound Swedish man named Mattias trying to sneak past you. Yeah I can’t imagine doing that either. Luckily we won’t have to anymore, because come March 2015, Red Bull Crashed Ice slides in town.

Okay, now imagine the block party of your dreams. This is going to be just like that, except I’m inviting tens of thousands of friends, it’ll be winter, there will be a professional DJ, and instead of watching your cousin Chad unsuccessfully play his guitar, we will be watching the best skaters in the world going frighteningly fast down a course made of ice.

Ice Cross Downhill is a unique blend of hockey, power skating, and boarder cross that brings together the toughest and fastest skaters in the world onto a frozen track, with the goal of getting down to the finish line on two feet; all to tune of 80,000 cheering fans in the heart of the city.

I know right? I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would totally be up there with those guys if I didn’t have to hold myself up with a hockey stick when I’m skating. But if you’re anything like me – the type of individual who enjoys entertainment from the comfort of a down jacket and Sorrels – you will appreciate these skaters flying down a mountain of manmade ice into Edmonton’s renowned river valley.

Red Bull has one of the most pervasive and recognizable brands in the world, and they chose Edmonton as the next host city for this prestigious event. You might be wondering why? Well it really makes perfect sense. Edmonton’s extraordinary hockey history, the longest uninhibited green space in North America, and 1.5 million people in the area with a keen interest in seeing other humans fall down on hard surfaces – Red Bull Crashed Ice was made for Edmonton. I’m just glad they finally decided to come home.