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Crashed Ice skaters open permanent ice cross track near Duluth

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The Crashed Ice event in St. Paul last weekend attracted 120,000 people -- evidence that the new sport is increasing in popularity.

Now, two Minnesota Crashed Ice athletes hope to take advantage of that popularity by opening a permanent Crashed Ice course in the Duluth-Superior area, WCCO reports.

The course, the first of its kind inf North America, opened Saturday at Mont du Lac near Superior, Wis., with the first ever Mont du Lac Ice Cross Downhill competition, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Some 70 men and women competed on the course, which was set up and iced over during the past three weeks.

Crashed Ice pros Cameron Naasz and Reed Whiting, who both competed in St. Paul, are two of the guys behind the idea.

Whiting, 33, of Rochester, Minn., say the permanent track is a way to allow more people access to a sport that has been propelled into the limelight by the Red Bull championship circuit.

“This is the first non-Red Bull race in the United States, ever,” said Whiting, who played college hockey for Ohio State. “It’s a spectacle. A lot of people want the opportunity but just can’t get it."

"We’re trying to open it up. Eventually we’d like to have a more permanent location here, get kids involved next year and have youth races," he told the Duluth News Tribune.

And he said he hopes it’s only the first of many to follow in the U.S.

“We’re hoping this can spawn a lot more interest and a lot more resorts to kind of take the initiative and do something similar.”

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