SAINT PAUL, Minn., Jan. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 80,000 people surrounded the Cathedral of Saint Paul today in hopes of seeing the U.S. athletes clinch the title of Red Bull Crashed Ice Champion. Unfortunately, their hopes were shattered during the second round when the American athletes fell to their Canadian and European counterparts. Canadian skater, Kyle Croxall, surprised everyone by beating the 2011 Champion, Arttu Pihlainen, in the final round of competition when Arttu stumbled on the ice and lost his lead.
"Arttu is so hard to beat. Saint Paul put on an awesome event. It was the hardest track ever," stated Croxall. "The fans were amazing. As soon as the U.S. guys were out, they were cheering for the next closest country. That got us (Canadians) fired up for the final."
MAKING A STAND
At the end of the day though, the Americans didn't go without leaving a mark on the Red Bull Crashed Ice history books. Not only did 5 athletes make it past the first round of competition, but Minnesotan athlete, Cameron Naasz, won the MINI Rookie Award as the best newcomer of the competition.
Now that the American athletes have a taste of ice cross downhill, they're ready for more, "We need to show the Europeans that we are not going to get pushed around any longer. The U.S. is going to be on the scene for ice cross downhill. Next time we will get them," said newly crowned U.S. team member, Andrew Bergeson. Bergeson joins Team U.S.A. along with three other athletes from the competition: Cameron Naasz (St. Cloud, MN), Adam Gerlach (Woodbury, MN) and Tigh Isaac (Salt Lake City, UT).
The U.S. team will be led by local legend and former Red Bull Crashed Ice competitor, Charlie Wasley. Coach Wasley plans to provide a rigorous training regimen for all four members of the team to make them ready to compete when they head to the next stop in the Series in The Netherlands. Coach Wasley evaluate the night's performance positively, with room to improve, "Overall we are very happy with the way things went, and we have a lot to improve on. However, we are in this for the long run. We are not interested in just competing, we want to dominate the sport."
Red Bull Crashed Ice began in 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, and has since grown into a Championship Series that spans the globe. Following the U.S. competition, the series will make stops in Sweden and the Netherlands before the finale in Quebec City where a World Champion will be crowned.
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The Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championship will air nationally on NBC on Saturday, January 21 from 1-3pm CT. This event is part of a jaw-dropping sports programming block on NBC called the "Red Bull Signature Series", featuring the most progressive and innovative snowboarding, mountain biking, freestyle motocross, ice cross downhill, skiing and BMX events. For more information, visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.
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SOURCE Red Bull