Quebec hosts Crashed Ice World Championship

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City
Photo by Sue Frause

I was an avid viewer of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but last night's sporting event on CBC had me a bit baffled. What in the world is the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship?

Set against the backdrop of the iconic Fairmont Chateau Frontenac overlooking Quebec City, this is one rough and tumble sport. Here's how corporate sponsor Red Bull describes it on its website:
"Take some of the best and toughest ice hockey players in the world, a sizzling atmosphere, stunning surroundings, tons of steel, a huge cooling system and thousands of square feet of frozen water. The result? Red Bull Crashed Ice, a combination of ice hockey, downhill skating and boardercross!"
The sport made its debut in January 2001 in Stockholm. Wearing ice skates, four racers at a time compete by hurtling down a steep 400-metre long ice-covered track that is approximately five metres wide. They leap over hurdles, jumps and ledges and negotiate hairpin turns in a battle to the finish line.

Crashed ice has become quite popular due to its high-speed action, one-on-one battles and spectacular settings in such European and North American locales as Moscow, Prague, Lausanne and Quebec.

The first race of the Crashed Ice World Championship was held in Munich's Olympiapark on Jan. 16, 2010 -- followed by the the event in Quebec City on March 20, 2010. After qualifying events around the globe, a total of 64 competitors from more than 15 countries were selected for the two main events.

In Quebec City, more than 120,000 fans watched 64 male and 16 female daredevils as they hurled themselves down the ice track that snaked its way through the streets of Old Quebec. Here are the winners.

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