Note to other Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill competitors: If your name isn’t Croxall the odds aren’t looking good that you are going to win a title this year. For the third time in 2015, a Croxall brother took home the Downhill title, and for the second time that brother was Scott.
After six frustrating years of falling short, the 24-year-old grabbed his second title in a row, following his win in Helsinki, Finland two weeks ago. In six years, Scott had made 13 finals appearances, but never came away with the crown. Now he is proving himself to be the dominant competitor in the extreme sport after his win in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The finals was a primarily Canadian affair, as fellow countrymen Dylan and Dean Moriarity joined Scott Croxall and Austria’s Luca Dallago in the championship round. Scott, the younger of the two Croxall brothers, came out of the gate on a mission, taking command of the race from the very start. The two Moriarity brothers attempted to keep pace down the course, but this was going to be the 24-year-old’s day. He simply willed himself toward the finish line, taking the crown as the champion in Northern Ireland.
For years, Crashed Ice insiders have spoken of how the younger Croxall seemed jinxed in some way. Older brother Kyle had won seven finals, including in St. Paul, Minnesota this year, while Scott was stuck with the misfortune of competitors falling in front of him or slowing down and costing him the chance to gain speed and position. It wasn’t just on the course that misfortune fell either. Scott’s skate broke before he even reached the starting gate in the final at Valkenburg in 2011, and in that same year he was disqualified for a false start in Munich.
Many athletes would have believed they were doomed to never see their promise, but not Scott Croxall. The 24-year-old has shown the keen ability to put passed mishaps behind him and to focus on what lies ahead. In an interview with RedBullCrashedIce.com, Scott Croxall explained, “I just had to forget about all the bad luck I had in the past and have a fresh start.”
This was an especially tough challenge considering that there was great pressure on Scott to deliver on the promise so many had seen in him. His ability to keep his mind focused on the here and now, and to set aside the talk around his lack of success has paid off this season. “It worked. I think it was just a matter of time until it came my way and I definitely think the floodgates are open now. I know I can win. I hope I can get more first places in the races to come.”
He now finds himself atop the leader board, over 500 points ahead of fellow countrymen Dean Moriarity and brother Kyle. This is clearly looking like the year that Croxall establishes himself as the one to beat in the sport.
With the win by Croxall, the Red Bull Crashed Ice series is now being dominated by Canadians. Four of the top six competitors in the standings are from the North American country, and at least two Canadians have reached in the finals in every event this season, with three in the finals in Belfast. Americans Cameron Naasz and Dean Witty, and Austrian brothers Marco and Luca Dallago are the only other skaters to reach the finals in 2015. It is a testament to the training and focus these athletes are receiving at home, and is an indicator to other nations that Canada is the center of the Red Bull Crashed Ice Downhill world.
By Robert Pannier