Quebec City goes crashy-crashy Saturday night

If you’ve never seen Red Bull’s Crashed Ice event, you need an immediate injection of testosterone. Every year, “competitors” in this event gather in Quebec City to “skate” down a 550-metre track whose grade is better suited for tobogganing than anything one would do on skates. (It’s a 56-metre vertical drop, according to this PDF press release).

The point is not important, I guess it’s a race of some sort. The fun is watching everyone crash as the tumble down the ice. And this year, for the first time, they’re opening it up to women.

Of course, because it’s harmless fun, there’s gotta be someone out there to spoil it. The Mouvement Montréal Français, apparently confused because this event is in Quebec City, is demanding that Red Bull give it a proper French name. The government, desperate to appease francophone activists, has passed on the request with official backing, though they’re stopping short of asking Red Bull to change its own name.

I think it’s a bit insulting to have an event like this in Quebec City with an English name. I’m sure Red Bull’s marketing people could come up with a bilingual one or a clever French name that would solve this situation easily. (They’ve already done it for Italy’s Toro Rosso F1 team) But this should be a result of grassroots pressure, not government fiat.

Either way, let’s not let the political discussion ruin the fun.

Crashed Ice is being broadcast live at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday in French on TVA and in English on TSN HD.

2 thoughts on “Quebec City goes crashy-crashy Saturday night

  1. Mathieu Galarneau

    I went there this afternoon to conduct an interview with a female competitor. Suprisingly, it was the first time for me after 4 years living in Quebec City. If you forget about the freezing weather, it’s a great place to be this week-end.

  2. Westerner


    If two words of english (which is the companies’ brand name for this event in other countries as well) are an insult then I suggest the ones insulted grow up or grow thicker skins.. The Red Bull website for this event is totally bilingual with both french and english presented. Very complementary and promotional of Quebec city I might add.

    I guess as others have commented elsewhere, the Cirque de Soleil should change its name to the English version when playing in English venues, so as to not insult the anglos. How ridiculous!!

    Anyways I watched part of the event last evening on TSN and it must be quite a rush for the competitors and spectators who seemed to really enjoy the event.



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