Monday, March 1, 2010

Whistler Native Becomes Ski Cross’s First Gold Medalist

Ashleigh McIvor took home the gold medal in the women’s ski-cross competition on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver yesterday, becoming the sport’s first female gold medalist.

McIvor stopped by the British Columbia Media Center in Vancouver B.C. today for a press conference proudly wearing her gold medal.

”It’s been amazing,” McIvor said. “I’ve barely had time to sit back and go, ‘Wow! I just won the Olympics!’ ”

She adds that she’s not usually superstitious but a friend gave her a small Buddha she kept in her pocket while things were going well for her – and she was afraid to take it out just in case it was acting as her good luck charm.

Her advice to other members of Team Canada as they approach their own big moments in the quest for gold is good advice for all: “Have fun! This is the Olympic Games! It’s all about having fun!”

McIvor said she knew she was going to be “100% ready” because of the tremendous support of the Canadian government in their “Own the Podium” program, which gave financial and other support to its athletes this year.

“And even standing at the top of the course I had this crazy feeling that it was all coming together perfectly,” she grinned.

The weather conditions of snow and fog that she faced at the event didn’t faze her, she said. She is from Whistler and had been skiing with friends in similar conditions.

This is the first year that the ski cross event is part of the Olympic Games. McIvor feels it is a perfect fit.

“It’s an amazing spectator sport. Four of us racing head-to-head, downhill, big jumps, huge turns, lots of terrain – it doesn’t get much more exciting than that.”

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