It’s no secret that Minnesotans embrace the cold. From ice fishing to hunting, you can find them outdoors no matter the time of year. But for some Minnesotans, their outdoor activities are a bit more extreme. For Cassie Rooney, that means hitting the ice cross downhill track for Red Bull’s Crashed Ice World Championship. The extreme sport pits four skaters against each other on an ice track full of sharp turns and quick drops. Cassie’s unlikely sponsor? Her union family at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 82.
Cassie hasn’t always been a Crashed Ice athlete, but she’s always been at home on the ice. Coming from a hockey family, she’s played her whole life and even played in college at St. Catherine University. In fact, she’s been active her whole life, getting involved in everything from softball to inline skating to snowboarding. So when a friend told Cassie about Crashed Ice after college, she leapt at the chance to join. “I’ve always been into extreme sports,” she said. “My family thinks I’m crazy.” She’s been hitting the track ever since.
While Cassie’s always seen herself as an athlete, her trade involvement came later on. After painting in the summers during college, she found herself drawn to it after graduation for some hands-on work. While she wasn’t sure what a union was at the start, joining was a no-brainer once she learned of the quality guaranteed by unions – quality of work to its projects, and quality of life to its members.
Soon, she had a whole new team of supporters both on and off the track. And when Cassie needed a new sponsor, her union’s support was the natural fit. Now, she proudly wears the IUPAT DC 82 logo proudly on her jersey at each competition.
As the Crashed Ice season kicks off January 19 in St. Paul, Cassie’s looking forward to starting off her third season in front of her friends, family and fellow union members. While she doesn’t know where this season will take her quite yet, she’s sure to have the support of her union family no matter where she goes.