With the snow pouring down on Cypress Mountain, Canadian Ashleigh McIvor flew over the final jump to earn a gold medal in women’s ski cross on Tuesday at the Vancouver Winter Games.
Norway’s Hedda Bernsten won silver, while Marion Josserand of France finished in third.
“This is just the most amazing moment of my entire life, I’m so proud of myself for coming in so prepared,” McIvor told CTV following the race. “I was standing in the start gate thinking that everything in my life has been leading up to this.”
McIvor, 26 and born in Whistler, led the race right from the start. As she made her way to the finish line no competitor was in sight.
This was the first ladies ski cross event at the Olympic Games.
Four time Winter X Games gold medallist and serious medal favourite Ophélie David, of France, did not advance after falling in her quarter final run. She has been ranked No. 1 in the world since 2004, and is a six-time world champion in ski cross.
Canadians Kelsey Serwa, Danielle Poleschuk, and Julia Murray all advanced to the 1/8 final but only Serwa advanced to the semi finals. She ended up just short of the podium in fifth place.
Murray, the daughter of famous “Crazy Canucks” downhill skier, Dave Murray, finished in 12th.
Her father passed away when she was only 23 months old but has inspired her to pursue her dreams of Olympic success. There is now a ski run in Whistler named after Murray, home to the men’s downhill skiing events at these Olympics.
“I like how the legacy is living on. I’m glad to be a part of that for sure,” she told the Toronto Star.
There was a scary moment early in the second round of qualification when Russian skier Yulia Livinskaya took a hard fall coming off the second turn. There was a lengthy delay while emergency teams helped her off the course.
It finally looked like the Winter Olympics, because for the first time there was heavy snow at Cypress Mountain.
As the white stuff came down, the conditions began to deteriorate making it harder for the skiers to see, and ultimately making the groupings tighter down the stretch.