Obstacles not a problem

Posted: March 11, 2014 by kirisyko in Skating, Winter
Tags: , , ,

Wade Metz competed in the opening round of the 2013 Red Bull Crashed Ice event. The Simcoe Storm forward looks forward to competing at this year's event in Quebec City. (Contributed Photo)

Wade Metz competed in the opening round of the 2013 Red Bull Crashed Ice event. The Simcoe Storm forward looks forward to competing at this year’s event in Quebec City. (Contributed Photo)

Wade Metz has Quebec City in his sights.

It’ll be a few weeks before the Simcoe Storm forward hits the ice in Quebec. But when he does he’ll be running.

Rather he’ll be skating downhill for more than 600 metres in front of a cheering crowd.

For the 21-year-old Cambridge native, the whirlwind course known as the Red Bull Crashed Ice should eventually become an Olympic sport.

“It encompasses a little bit of everything,” said Metz. “There’s skating and some elements of snowboarding involved. There’s no doubt that this will become a recognized international sport one day.”

Red Bull Crashed Ice is an annual tournament where skaters race down a 600 metre track filled with jumps, speed and plenty of bumps. The event is considered a winter extreme sport and involves participants skating down an ice track full of steep turns and vertical drops in an urban environment.

Crashed Ice can be considered similar to ski cross or snowboard cross except athletes compete in hockey skates.

There are four Crashed Ice events scheduled for the first quarter of 2014 in Helsinki, Finland; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Moscow, Russia, and Quebec City, Quebec.

It’s not the first time Metz has competed in Crashed Ice. Last year Metz placed 19th in the shootout event with a time of 32.62 seconds.

Metz placed 73rd overall in the elimination round as a rookie. This year he hopes to make it further.

“I’m looking to give it my all straight out of the gate,” Metz said. “I’m hoping to complete the course under a minute-thirty. There are a lot of runs to the track. If you make it to the finals you’re going to be doing seven to eight rounds. I plan on making it that far.”

Metz has been active on the ice since he laced up his first pair of skates at the age of seven. A few years ago he saw an advertisement for the Crashed Ice event and he said that “this was the sport for me.”

Entering the competition isn’t easy. Thousands of competitors enter a lottery for a chance for a few hundred spots.

From there the number of athletes are dwindled down through elimination rounds. Only the top 32 racers make it to the finals.

At the age of 17 Metz entered the lottery and gained a spot but couldn’t compete because he was underage. When the event was held in Niagara Falls in 2013, Metz made the cut and said the experience was a thrill.

To prepare for this year’s Crashed Ice, Metz conditioned himself on ice in between practices with the Simcoe Storm. He also incorporated snowboarding and inline skating into his training routine outside of the rink.

“I got good balance so I’m not worried about the obstacles on the course,” Metz said. “I have the need to push myself down the track. It’s a long shift but I can make it.”

see more:http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2014/03/10/obstacles-not-a-problem

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