ST. PAUL, Minn. - Skiing, skating and speed, it's a combination so crazy, fans just can't get enough and over the next three days downtown St. Paul is where the action is. Red Bull's Crashed Ice events start Thursday and will be held, once again, at the steps of the St. Paul Cathedral and head coaching the U.S. team is Minnesota's Charlie Wasley.
In 1986 Hollywood featured a bunch of kids from Minnesota on a frozen pond in the opening scene of the hockey movie, "Youngblood," and introduced America to the smile of Edina's Charlie Wasley.
"Yeah I was in Youngblood," laughed Wasley. "Yeah you're gonna pull all my past, yeah I played a young Rob Lowe as a fourth grader."
Years later he still has a smile fit for Hollywood. Wasley grew up with hockey.
In high school he played at Edina. He played college at the University of Minnesota with the gophers, and although drafted by the Quebec Nordiques, he wound up playing for the Minnesota Blue Ox in the roller hockey league
"That was something cool and different to try after playing hockey after all those years," Wasley said.
"Cool" and "different" would collide when he discovered Red Bull's Crashed Ice in 2003.
"I sent my resume and asked how much I have to pay to do it and they were like no, no, no this is a real sport you can come up it's free," he explained.
At that time organizers were just looking for anybody who would go down Duluth's Spirit Mountain with, well, spirit.
Duluth was the first to host a Crashed Ice event in the United States.
Wasley finished fourth and just missed the podium, but it would be the start of an adrenaline filled journey.
These days he's closer to home and is the 2013 coach of the United States team.
"It's really out of all the stops in the world this one's the most technical," said Wasley as he looked at the course.
He said the St Paul track is nothing like the others, it's taller, steeper, and as far as crashes are concerned, you can expect plenty of those as well.
"I started back when it was in its infancy and I would tell people about it and no one would believe me," he said.
Any non-believers turned faithful when nearly 100,000 people showed up last year at the steps of the St. Paul Cathedral.
As a coach, Wasley helps the athletes work on absorbing jumps, maintaining speed and all of the other technical aspects it takes to conquer the course.
His dream is for the competition to one day be part of the Olympics.
"I would love to be the coach of the gold medal team," he smiled. "This is my shot at hopefully being an Olympian."
What a Hollywood story that would make.
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