News / Edmonton

Red Bull Crashed Ice returns to Edmonton with new features

It includes a 40-metre drop called 'the Canadian Big Air' that will launch athletes really high in the air

Ice skaters compete in the final of the &quotRedbull Crashed Ice", the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship,


Ice skaters compete in the final of the "Redbull Crashed Ice", the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship,

The Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship is returning to Edmonton with a longer and faster track for another adrenaline-soaked, action-packed event.

The Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship will see 64 athletes from 20 countries skate through thrilling obstacles that include ambitious drops, sharp turns and narrow tracks for the championship title.

This year, the 455-metre track, longer than the one in 2015, is starting at Jasper Avenue and going down to Louise McKinney Park.

It also includes new features such as a 40-metre drop called the Canadian Big Air that is expected to launch athletes higher than 88 feet into the air.

“The Canadian Big Air is something that everybody will be saying, 'Wow'. It will be fun watching it," said Patrice Drouin, president of Gestev, the event organizing company.

"We made the event better for the crowd."

Another new feature is the narrowing of the track to a point where only a single athlete can pass through at a time. Drouin says because athletes are not allowed to touch each other, it will make the race more challenging.

Drouin says the crowd really responded when Red Bull Crashed Ice was held in Edmonton in 2015.

“Which is why this was a no-brainer for Red Bull and everybody involved to decide to return to Edmonton with a new venue,” Drouin said.

“They made a proper change I think to make it better. I think it’s going to be a huge success.”

For Edmontonians crashing the Crashed Ice event, there will be something extra as well. Red Bull is including new features such as a beer garden and giant screens that will livestream the races.

Construction has been ongoing for five weeks and Drouin says the River Valley landscape is an extra advantage for setting up the track.

“Using the topography, it’s much better because you use less scaffolding and you are near the ground and you are using the natural landscape,” he said.

“I think it's essential to have sections like that to get the crowd close and be able to see, touch, hear the sound of skates, I think it’s an awesome experience.”

A total of five races will take place at the two-day event. Two athletes will compete at a time and the winner will move onto the next round. 64 athletes will trickle down to four athletes in the final race skating through the course for the championship title.

Last time the event was held here, 70,000 Edmontonians showed up to the Red Bull Crashed Ice event and Drouin says he expects even more this time.

“I would say (with) 2015 being a success, the experience would be greater, the ambiance, the visibility, the layout of the venue ... I think the experience will be upgraded,” he said.

Drouin says crews are expected to lay the ice starting this weekend and the track will be ready for testing by next Wednesday.

The world championship will begin on March 9 and and will cost $5 to attend. The finals will take place March 10 and will cost $8.

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