Countdown to Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast spectacular
It's a heart-thumping drop designed to push extreme athletes to the absolute limit.
The atmosphere at Stormont is a little bit frosty today as the finishing touches are put to a massive 3,000 square metre course installed for the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship being hosted up on the hill this weekend.
The Red Bull Crashed Ice course - the first ever built in a non-winter sports country - provides a vertical drop designed to test over 140 athletes to the limit.
On Friday and Saturday around 40,000 people are expected to watch daredevil skaters negotiate a bridge next to the iconic Lord Carson statue before making a final sprint to the finishing line.
To create the extreme sports extravaganza, organisers needed 40 trucks full of steel scaffolding, 45,000m of cooling pipe, 1,600 light fittings, 337,000 cubic litres of ice and 50km of cable.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were the first to receive a tour of the Red Bull Crashed Ice track yesterday. Designed by the event's sports director Christian Papillon, it runs from the steps of Stormont down the incline toward the estate gates.
"Belfast is the first non-winter sports location that has hosted Red Bull Crashed Ice and it promises to be one of the best and fastest tracks of the season," he said.
"The track is packed with a good combination of technical and high speed excitement for the athletes, that will ensure spectators are kept entertained."
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