Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Victory and Life for Maelle Ricker

In the photo above, premier Gordon Campbell is congratulating Canada's Maelle Ricker on becoming the first British Columbian to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

Maelle is also the very first woman in Canada to win a gold medal at the Olympics on home turf, though none of this has gone to her head yet.
She has a pleasantly shy and sweet demeanour, laughing nervously at times when interviewed.

When asked about how it felt after her race yesterday, and what it feels like to own a gold Olympic medal, she shakes her head in disbelief. "It's unbelievable, I am on cloud nine, I feel like I am floating everywhere." She says that it has still not really sunk in yet.

Maelle is known for leaving the starting gate at the beginning of a race in good time, and when asked what she is thinking about, she talks mainly about visualizing the race course in her head, and winner.

As a high school student, my fellow reporter Emily Chan and I wanted to know how Maelle balanced her schoolwork with her snowboarding passion when she was our age.
In order to get her work done, her teachers had to be flexible with her schoolwork, which they were. She also had to do a lot of her studying when on the road; travelling to and from various mountains and competitions.

As a kid, Maelle participated in many sports; biking, soccer - you name it, she did it. She loved - and still loves - to play. Although she's shy, she has an inner competitiveness that sports bring out in her. She was "one of the boys" on the ski hill in her younger days, following her older brother around. Now, she focuses on being a role model for younger girls who want to participate in sports and follow their dreams.

When asked about the new fashions surrounding the Olympics and the ski hill, Maelle mentions the red gloves and puffy vests - not exactly something we haven't noticed. But she also comments on the "jeans" that snowboarders have been wearing on the hill...are they actual denim or not? Everybody has been wondering. "No, I don't think those are real denim," she laughs. (There are snowboarding pants, however, now coming out in "waterproof denim". They have been put out by some of the top snowboarding name brands, such as Burton, but most people find them out of their price range).

Tonight, Maelle will be celebrating her accomplishment at the BC place victory ceremony in Vancouver, where Canadians from all over will be cheering her on.

The epitomy of determination and tenacity, we can't wait to see what Maelle Ricker will do next.

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