The world premiere and world championships of the World Ice Cross League will begin Feb. 15 at the Laajis-Laajavuori ski resort in Jyväskylä, Finland.
Former Battleford resident and WICL founder "Cowboy" Tim Cimmer is expecting thousands of spectators to turnout to the event, which would be bigger than the Red Bull Crashed Ice event held in Helskini Feb. 1.
The event will begin with kids' races while the professionals conduct interviews along the track. Pro individual races begin after the prize ceremony for the kids. There will be athletes from more than 10 countries participating in the WICL's inaugural event.
Cimmer says he wants the WICL to compete with the Crashed Ice tour in terms of entertainment.
"The competition in Laajavuori will be a huge step forward from the athletes' point of view," said Cimmer in a press release. "Track safety, new innovations on the track maintenance and not to forget the fun-factor of the novel track design for the riders, will help grow this sport to new levels and possible Olympic dreams in 2018. The new World Ice Cross League concept will make this sport easy and above all, extremely cost-efficient to copy in any other ski resort in the world."
In regards to the 2018 Olympics, Cimmer said that they have mastered building cost-effective tracks. It will help expand the sport around the world. There will eventually be tracks in 22 different countries.
"These tracks will be able to be built at every ski resort, town or city," said Cimmer. "The nicest thing about these tracks is that there's parts of these tracks that can be designated for beginner, intermediate, junior and semi-pro levels. It's not all just extreme tracks.
The organizers of the event are inviting elite ice cross athletes to compete in the event. They have invited many celebrities from Finland and North America, including American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.
The prize for the main event is $10,000 USD. The next event is tentatively scheduled for March 1 in Mont Du Lac, Minn. Cimmer plans to bring WICL events to Alberta and Saskatchewan in the future.