Ashleigh McIvor is the reigning 2009 ski cross World Champion and as Whistler native, has high hopes for the 2010 Olympic Games where ski cross will make its Olympic debut.
What are your goals for 2010?
Just having the privilege of being able to compete in the Olympics in my hometown would be amazing-that is my #1 goal. I hope I can get myself on the podium so that Canada, and more specifically, Whistler, will be well represented.
How did you get into your sport (i.e. other Olympians in family?)
My parents met skiing, and moved to Whistler right after they got married. I started skiing when I was 2 (down our carpeted stairs in my undies). I had raced, skied a ton of big mountain and I guess it was peer pressure that got me racing ski cross, I'm competitive and I get amped about the head to head format.
Describe a bit about your hometown, about how you got started there in your sport.
Skiing is literally a way of life in Whistler. It's what I grew up with. Whistler was a playground making their priority outdoor sport.
How were you supported by your community growing up?
Whistler is just full of healthy, talented, fun-loving skiing enthusiasts. 'Shredders', we call them. The community is keen to support those of us who show potential in our sport. Being the #1 rated resort in North America, we were fortunate enough to always have the best coaches to work with.
What is it about your hometown that inspired you in your sport?
Whistler's "Never-never land" characteristics are what inspired me to make excelling at my sport a priority. I noticed at a young age that being passionate about something that encourages healthy living and an active, happy lifestyle allows you to never grow old.
How were you impacted by where you grew up?
Growing up in Whistler had a huge impact on my ability to utilize this opportunity and make the most of it. I had the world's best playground/training grounds in my backyard
How would you describe yourself?
I've always been a bit of a shredder. I grew up ski racing in Whistler and developed a great love for the thrill of downhill mountain biking as a teenager. I'm competitive and love speed.
What is one of the biggest challenges you've faced in reaching your goals in this sport?
Injuries. I'm going to be one hurtin' old lady!
What do you consider of one of your biggest accomplishments to date?
Placing 4th and 5th in the Les Contamines and Flaine World Cup races last year with a wrecked shoulder. I was winning the semi-finals in Les Contamines by so much that I managed to hold on to my lead even after dislocating my shoulder part way down the course. I couldn't race the finals because it took so long to get my shoulder back in, so I got 4th by default. The 5th place result was two days later with no training, and one-armed starts. Also, winning the World Championships at Inawashiro, Japan in March 2009, despite hooking my tip in the time trial and qualifying 28th.
What other interests do you have outside your sport?
I'm obsessed with wake surfing (behind the boat) and down hill mountain biking. I've also been getting into action sports photography. To check out some of my shots and for more on what I've been up to, hit www.ashleighmcivor.com