41 year old Alain Baxter from Scotland originally made his name skiing where he competed in 3 Olympics and seven world championships, it may seem extremely odd to now see Baxter competing in Red Bull Crashed Ice, a downhill ice skating race that sees competitors hurtling down a 400 metre course that features sharp corners and huge vertical drops, talking about how becoming a downhill skater felt like a natural progression Baxter said ” I was able to skate so that helps. Being able to go downhill and turn and jump on snow is also a massive advantage.”
Talking about the physical challenges of a sport where slamming into a wall at nearly 60 km is not an uncommon occurrence Baxter added ” I’ve only done two Red Bull Crashed Ice events so far and I hobbled away from both of them. There is a little bit of argy bargy amongst competitors but there’s rules against that. All injuries are usually your own fault – you misjudge a jump and smash into the barrier or you hit something a little too hard.”
However this event isn’t just about speed there is a tactical element as Baxter explained “You need to set a time at the individual time trial to get a ranking. You need to race hard and fast but be careful not to crash as you only get two attempts. If you crash twice you are out.”
To see some incredible footage to get a feel for the unique downhill race check out the video below!