This fantastic new sport is wowing crowds at the Winter Olympics in Whistler where many of us are seeing it for the first time. It’s a combative blend of boarding, down hill skiing and bizarrely, Motocross. The results are fast moving and highly entertaining.
What happens is this:-
Four skiers set off together from gated traps at the top of the course. They encounter a range of obstacles on the way down, from the double set of vertical snow walls called Wu Tangs (after the band apparently), to the high banked curves and huge jumps. They battle it out all the way down, looking for places to pass with inevitable crashes. The top two go through to the next round.
It’s brilliant to watch and very exciting. From one camera angle you see them come flying over the hill like the Banana Splits.
So why the buzz?
Well it’s totally hard core, mad and chaotic. It requires strength, skill and a lot of bottle. But I think the main thing is the human interaction. Why have one person barrelling down a hill on skis when you can have four?
It’s easy to see who has won and you don’t have to keep tabs on complicated times and leader boards and they wear coloured bibs for easy identification.
But it is dangerous. You are never far away from a spectacular crash which can result in serious injury. One skier said taking the jumps felt like crashing out of a second floor window. Not surprisingly some professional skiers won’t touch it saying it’s too dangerous.
For them, Ski Cross should remain what it clearly is, an Extreme Sport.
Have you got the Ski Cross bug or do you think it is just too dangerous?