Basketball on skates: Ottawa Ice Cross Downhill athletes go viral with skating dunk video

LA PECHE, QUE. — A group of Ottawa ice cross downhill athletes are getting attention online as their viral basketball on skates video has now been seen millions of times around the world.

The group has been training on a homemade ice cross downhill track in La Peche, Que., and sharing many of their videos.

“I think we all knew we had a pretty good clip there, but I don’t think any of us were prepared for how big it was going to be,” said Robin Worling, the man behind the dunk.

Worling said his phone has been blowing up since posting the video of him dunking while skating on the ice cross downhill track on Thursday.

The attention has far surpassed his expectations but it helped the crew achieve exactly what they had hoped for — to grow the sport of ice cross downhill.

“We just wanted to keep exposure on the sport so that it keeps growing,” said Worling.

“I think the most rewarding part about all this is I think the messages that all of us have gotten from a lot of young kids asking about how to get involved in the sport.”

The team spent a week making the homemade track — which features a drop-in ramp, a rock drop, a step down and several jump features.

“This year, with everyone having a little more time on their hands, looking for some stuff to do, we put a lot more time into it and put a fun little track together,” said Daniel Guolla, the mastermind behind the project.

The track in La Peche has provided them with a place to train in a year where their season has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“With not having any races in North America that we can compete in… this is the best thing for training for us realistically,” said ice cross downhill athlete Justin Docherty.

Skating on this course is no easy feat; it’s fast, challenging, and can be dangerous. 

“It’s not easy, like you said it’s really hard to capture how difficult it is on video, and it always looks easier than it is,” said Guolla.

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