Wednesday 24 January 2018

Video: 'It's pretty mental' – Irish skaters reveal thrill of taking part in Red Bull Crashed Ice Belfast

Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

High-speed dashes and plenty of smashes are all part of the fun at Stormont as the Red Bull Crashed Ice extravaganza continues in Belfast.

Thousands of people have flocked to the event to watch in amazement as daredevil downhill skaters negotiated a heart-thumping 40ft vertical drop and five big turns over a 430-metre track, at speeds of up to 65kph.

The track runs from the steps of Parliament Buildings, past Lord Carson's statue to the finish line at the bottom of the estate.

"I've been skating all my life really, roller blading and ice skating," said Paul Kennedy from Dublin who is taking part in the high-octane event. "As soon as I heard about this, I really wanted to do it.

"Yeah it's pretty mental the steepness of the ramps and the speed that you get but it's good.

"Coming from Ireland, the fact that we don't have a permanent ice rink, I think it's a credit to the lads to actually go out and qualify for the event."

Niall McEvoy from Dundalk echoed those sentiments and said he couldn't pass up the opportunity to test himself in Belfast.

"I started when the ice rink opened in Dundalk, I used to play ice hockey all the time," he said. "This was the first time it has come to Ireland, so I had to give it a shot."

"We may not have qualified for the final day but we were able to keep up with a lot of the guys who have skated all there life and have rinks in every town.

"I think we have done pretty well for our limited access to the training for this event."

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