2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice Races: St. Paul to Play Host to Most Insane Sport Ever

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 12, 2012

Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune
Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune

Do you think bobsledding looks dangerous? Or maybe the luge? Or really any of the "extreme" games?

Well, those sports can go ahead and move over because ice cross downhill has just taken over as the most insane, ridiculous, extreme sport there is. 

And it's coming to St. Paul, Minnesota.

The official name for the upcoming tournament is the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships, and 60,000 spectators will watch competitors race down a course at speeds of up to 40 mph. 

So where in the world did a sport like this come from? If you guessed Austria, you are right. Here's a deeper look via the Star Tribune:

The sport has existed for only about a dozen years. It was born when an adventurous—and probably somewhat inebriated—Austrian hockey player snuck onto a bobsled run to see if he could skate down it. As if that weren't enough of a challenge, the sport's founders decided to throw in jumps, bumps and steep banked turns.

The generic name for this mayhem is ice cross downhill, a label that reflects its blending of elements from skating, skiing and boardercross (snowboard racing). Crashed Ice, the title of this series of races, offers an additional nod to what happens to many of the racers. Falls are such a part of the race that competitors are required to wear full hockey or motocross protective gear.

Just a few thoughts come to mind after reading that.

If a sport is so insane that it leads people to think that the inventor was inebriated when he created it, there's probably something wrong with it. And even more so, probably something wrong with the people that are insane enough to attempt the sport.

But hey, at least they are wearing hockey masks to protect them from those life-threatening falls and razor-sharp blades they are wearing.

To each his own, that's what I say.

And in case you were wondering, here's some more information about the St. Paul track:

This track includes a hairpin turn that consists of a steeply banked, 16-foot-tall wall, the highest wall ever constructed on one of these tracks. The skaters come out of the turn to face a double jump in which the fastest competitors will try to get enough altitude coming off the first jump to clear the gap between the two hurdles.

The track’s designer, Joachim Poelzl of Austria, said through an interpreter that he wanted to ensure that Minnesotans who have spent their lives on skates wouldn’t find it too easy.

Yeah, I think I'm going to leave this for the professionals, if there actually is such a thing in this young sport.