Crashed Ice returns to St. Paul this weekby Curtis Gilbert, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, better known as Crashed Ice, kicks off again in St. Paul later this week.
Starting Thursday, 200 skaters from around the world will hurl themselves down a steep, icy track starting at the Cathedral of St. Paul.
•Photos: Scenes from last year's Crashed Ice
It's the second year the city has hosted the event.
Last year's race was the first time 23-year-old Cameron Naasz, a senior at St. Cloud State University, skated a Crashed Ice course. He's now the top-ranked American in the sport, crediting his success to his experience in other "extreme" sports.
"I snowboard, downhill ski. I mountain bike a lot. I used to be a big, aggressive inline rollerblader. Just having a wide variety of sports kind of prepared me for Crashed Ice," he said, while admitting it's no way to make a living.
But still, "I get to travel all over the world and experience all these great things," he said. "I'm going to ride this roller coaster as long as I can."
The energy drink company Red Bull sponsors the event. It's free, open to the public and runs Thursday through Saturday.