On a trip to Quebec City two years ago, I was amazed to see an enormous toboggan chute snaking its way through the old town. We’d just missed the Red Bull Crashed Ice, otherwise known as the Ice Cross Downhill World Championship. The purpose of this kamikaze activity is to skate as fast as possible down a steep chute complete with jumps, moguls and turns, wearing full hockey gear, while avoiding the elbows of three other aggressive competitors. The best competitors score speeds up to 40 km (25 miles) an hour. The 2012 championship just took place on Saint Patrick’s Day and my fellow countryman, Canadian Kyle Croxall, came out on top.
Today’s expression, en un clin d’œil (ohn uhn klan doy) literally means “in a blink of an eye” or very quickly. The forty second run down the icy path is slightly longer than the blink of an eye, but it certainly looks like a total blast – for others. I’ll stick to enjoying the quaint charms of the 400 year old city that reminds me so much Saint Malo in Brittany, with its stone buildings and city wall.