NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. (WIVB) - The Red Bull Crashed Ice Championships are being held in Niagara Falls, Ontario this weekend.
Skaters from all over the world will be competing in ice cross downhill, a fairly new sport that started in Sweden.
"You are probably going to see the most exciting thing ever here. We have a track that is the most brutal we have ever had and it's the first one of the season," said Claudio Caluori, who is dubbed the Red Bull crashed ice expert.
The skaters only had a limited amount of time to practice on the course, which runs about 1,500 feet. A 30-degree drop is going to send them down the hill at about 30 miles per hour before they hit a sharp turn.
"You need a combination of different sports. Obviously playing hockey is a big advantage, but that is not the only thing you need. You need to have some kind of background of downhill racing, be it on skis or a snowboard," Caluori explained.
Adam Green qualified for the event early in the year at regionals, which was held at the Healthy Zone Ice Rink in East Aurora. So how did he prepare?
"I'll try to do a track in a skate park. Try to set up my own lines and see what I can mimic with some different jumps. Skating straight out and getting top end speed and skating into some obstacles," Green said.
Because he practices on a smooth service, he said there is a huge difference once you get on the ice because of the natural bumps and divots. Snow can make things even more difficult, because skaters won't be able to see those bumps on the ice.
It didn't seem to bother green though. He finished second in his run, which will advance him to the finals this Saturday.
Around 70,000 spectators are expected for the event. A total of 64 skaters will continue in groups of four with the top two advancing to the next round until it gets down to the final four, which will be the championship race.
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