If you thought ice skating was all about C-list celebrities, monotonous Saturday night telly and Torvill & Dean in sequinned outfits then think again.
With a name that should rightly send shivers down your spine, Red Bull Crashed Ice is all about pushing skaters to the very limits, pitting some of the fastest, bravest and downright toughest competitors on blades against each other for a high-speed downhill assault.
What is it?
Crashed Ice sees expert skaters going shoulder to shoulder on a steep and tight downhill ice track. This competitive version of ice cross is just about as fast and furious as skating gets. Think of it as the ice skating equivalent of snowboard cross or ski cross but without the comfort of snow to break your fall, just cold, hard ice beneath your bladed feet. Racers – many of whom are hardened ice hockey players – don ice hockey style padded suits and helmets before hurtling down a winding track.
It is sure to be a thrilling race down the track nestled within Alberta's capital, Edmonton. The city's first track in 2015, was sprawled out across a demanding 415-metre long route and taking in some of the city’s finest sights along the way, it also includes a frightening 45 metre vertical drop. However, 2018's Edmonton track will aim to up its game from its first edition.
When is it?
Scheduled for 9-10 March, they will be racing in front of more than 70,000 onlookers gathered for the final event in the 2017/2018 Crashed Ice season, the culmination of months of heats and tryouts.
You can be sure there won’t be a sequinned dress in sight for this battle on the ice, with balance, fitness, nerves of steel and the ability to hit breathtaking speeds being the true measures of success. Now that’s what I’d call good Saturday night viewing.