Thursday, March 15, 2012
In advance of this weekend's Red Bull Crashed Ice finale in Quebec City (televised live at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Sportsnet), I recently got the chance to talk to firefighter/ice cross star Adam Horst for a post at Yahoo!'s Eh Game blog. Along the lines of my On The Ground series, here's my full interview with Horst:
On how he got into Crashed Ice: "The first time I got into it, we watched on TV and a couple of buddies signed me up."
On what his thoughts were the first time he tried it: "I was petrified. It's hard to describe what it is the first time you go down the hill."
On his February win in Sweden: "That was unreal. You're always hoping for that but when it actually happens, it's hard to believe."
Some highlights of that win:
On how the sport has grown: "It's become bigger. It used to be just one race a year. The tracks they're making are longer and steeper, and there's a lot of competition."
On competing against other Canadians like Kyle and Scott Croxall: "The Canadian guys, we're all a pretty tight group. We all cheer for each other."
On how other sports prepared him for this: "I've been playing hockey my whole life. I'm a motorcross racer, so it's some of the same concepts."
On the strategy involved: "Before you start, you come up with your own game plan. ... It's a combination of going as fast as you can and staying on your feet."
On what it's like in Quebec City: "You get up there in front of 120,000 people and your heart stops."
On how the sport has grown: "When I first started, no one even knew what it was. Now it has a huge following."
On coming from Fort St. John, B.C.: "We're kind of secluded. I have a huge amount of support from the community here. It's cool for people to see someone come out of a small town. They're all behind me."
On how his career as a firefighter relates to this sport: "The biggest thing for both is the adrenaline factor. Standing at the top of the hill or running into a burning building, both have that adrenaline."
On how the atmosphere in Quebec impacts him: "For me, being from a small town, the most intimidating part of the race in Quebec City is how many fans there are."
On how he feels heading into this weekend's action: "I should have a fairly good shot in Quebec City. The last two years, I had the number-one qualifying position; I finished fifth in 2009, but didn't do well last year. It's going to be the same game plan: be consistent, stay on your feet and take it to the end."
On where he sees ice cross going: "I love the sport, and I think it has huge potential to grow."