Extreme athletics: Q&A with Adam Skube, winner of Ottawa’s Red Bull Crashed Ice qualifier

Photo credit: Andreas Schaad/Red Bull Crashed Ice

Adam Skube (Twitter) grew up in Thunder Bay but moved to Ottawa at age 17 for school. A passionate hockey player and sports-lover in general, Adam loves to call Ottawa a “big little city,” describing it as a large city with a small town vibe. LTOttawa chatted with him recently about his participation this week in Ottawa’s own Red Bull Crashed Ice qualifier, which he won!

Adam Skube before 2011’s Crashed Ice event in Quebec City (Photo credit: Dan Mathieu/Red Bull Crashed Ice)

Tell us about the Red Bull Crashed Ice challenge. What should people unfamiliar with the event know?

If you’ve never seen the event, check out a couple of clips online to really get a sense of what it’s all about. It is a mix of hockey, boardercross and downhill skiing all packed together. Rules are fairly simple: athletes skate head-to-head on the downhill ice track and first to the bottom of the hill wins. Everyone should know that Quebec City is the place to be on March 17, when the 2012 Crashed Ice World Championships roll into town. The atmosphere and experience — not only on the track but also within the city — is amazing. Red Bull puts on a great show and everyone should be there to experience it.

Why did you decide to participate in the Ottawa qualifier for the Crashed Ice challenge?

This is actually a bit of a funny story, but to keep things short, it was my Mom’s idea. I was home for Christmas last year and we saw a TV commercial for the event. She told me that this is something I would love and that I should try out. I put my name in the lottery and was one of the lucky ones to be randomly selected to compete at the Qualifier event in Ottawa. I was able to land a top place finish at the qualifier event, which then gave me a spot in at the Finals in Quebec City.

Have you participated in the Crashed Ice challenge before? Describe the experience.

Yes, I participated in the Quebec City event last year, in 2011. The experience is absolutely incredible! I would have to say I enjoyed racing down the track as much as I enjoyed the experience as a whole. Red Bull puts you up in a nice hotel and provides everything you need for the weekend. The feeling you get going down the track is something else, something you can never really experience until you do it. Going that fast on only two small blades is a great thrill.

Finishing first at the Ottawa Qualifiers this year really feels great. I was feeling a bit of pressure after qualifying last year and really hoping I could pull though again this year. Turns out I had a great couple of qualifying runs and will be back in Quebec City for 2012!

How, if at all, had you been training for the event?

I wish I could tell you that I am in the best shape of my life right now and I have been training nonstop, but that just isn’t the case. I continue to play hockey at least three times a week and stay active as much as I can, but I have not been doing anything out of the ordinary. That being said, now that I have qualified I may have to take it up a step in the next month in order to be ready for Quebec City.

What’s your athletic background? Do you still participate in any sports/activities/teams here in Ottawa?

I have grown up playing all the sports I could handle, and still essentially do just that. I focused more on hockey when I moved to Ottawa for university, and played four years with the Ottawa West Golden Knights. I still play hockey in a couple of leagues here in town, as well as with the guys from work, which is a blast.

What does Ottawa have to offer the city’s athletes?

Ottawa has a lot to offer to all types athletes. Since I’ve been in Ottawa I have been able to participate in numerous different sports, at many of the local facilities. From hockey and softball leagues, to rowing or running (even skating) on the canal, Ottawa can offer any type of physical activity one would be looking for. I cannot say enough about what Ottawa has given me as an athlete, and I am extremely happy to have this opportunity.

Good luck, Adam! To support Adam, you can head to Quebec City on March 17 for the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship to watch this fast-paced event LIVE! Or tune into Rogers Sportsnet to follow the action.