Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Skylon Tower + Red Bull

Today I am going to be writing two reviews at once.

The first is about the Skylon Tower at Niagara Falls. I went up the tower back in 1985 when I was just a kid and for years afterwards I thought with childish confusion that the Skylon Tower was the CN Tower and that Niagara Falls was in Toronto. Like I said, I was a kid at the time and didn't know any better.

To this day I have been living in Toronto for 12+ years and I still haven't been up the CN Tower. I suppose partially because that distant memory of the Skylon Tower was enough for me. I also recall walking around above the falls and we also got a tour behind / underneath Niagara Falls in the tunnels / caves owned by Ontario Hydro. (I am not certain if they still give tours down there, but back in the 1980s they did.)

Since then I haven't really been up many towers. I recall going up a lookout tower in the Appalachians and I have been up the Seoul Tower in South Korea twice.

What I have discovered I really enjoy however is mountain climbing, something I picked up while living in South Korea. Part exercise, part exploration, part the enjoying the scenery when you reach the top. So to me mountain climbing combines the scenery of going up a really tall building with the exercise and feeling of having accomplished/discovered something.

And lets face it, I live in Canada. And there is a lot of mountains to climb if I want to give myself a challenge. Just so long as I don't fall or get killed in an avalanche.

Which brings me to my 2nd review for today: Red Bull Crashed Ice.

Now before you think Red Bull Crashed Ice is an energy drink with ice in it (which I admit, is what it sounds like) let me explain what it really is: High speed racing on hockey skates.

So yeah... Its not what you think. Its just "Ice Cross Downhill" with a brand name sponsor. Sorry for the confusion.

I actually wish companies would stop purchasing buildings or events like that and then sticking their brand name on the item. eg. The SkyDome in Toronto being purchased by Rogers Telecommunications and being re-branded as "The Rogers Centre". I am sorry but it is always going to be the SkyDome to me, I don't care how much re-branding those marketing morons at Rogers do.

Anyway, back to the whole ice cross downhill topic. It is rather similar to BMX racing like in the video below which I first witnessed during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

There is also Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross, but I have to wonder about the athletes who get into these niche sports and whether they consider it a serious career. If they do, I wonder how many times they've forgotten to wear a helmet and injured their head.

Which begs the question, will be seeing Ice Cross Downhill at the next Winter Olympics? Probably not in 2014 in Sochi Russia, but we might see it become an event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

In which case I might find an excuse to visit South Korea and go mountain climbing just so I can be there for the Olympics that year. Should be fun.

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