February 19, 2010 Features & Images » Feature Story

Whistler Olympians 

In other words… Ashleigh McIvor


When Ashleigh McIvor was a little skier in Whistler she was never much interested in going to ski school with the rest of the kids.

"Because they made us ski in a line and all the kids were slow and we just wanted to bomb it," said younger sister Lindsay, speaking of her sister from her home in Revelstoke.

So instead the girls, who are less than two years apart, would explore the mountains with their parents whenever they could take them, on the weekends and the occasional weekday.

And they fell in love with skiing - and more importantly, going fast on skis.

It comes as no surprise then, to Ashleigh's family and friends, that she is on the eve of competing for Canada in the Olympic Games in ski cross. The sport will make its Olympic debut next week.

Ashleigh was the first athlete to make the Olympic team after becoming World Ski Cross Champion in 2009 and she hasn't stopped there. This World Cup season has brought her first and second place finishes.

She has become the face of the new sport in Canada. And, in some ways, there couldn't be a better spokesperson - pretty, fun-loving, laid-back and at the top of her game.

"She has an insane internal passion and fire for going fast at extreme sports," said Lindsay.

That passion is transferred from her skis to her mountain bike, her dirt bike and her surfboard.

"She's very confident in her sporting ability," added Lindsay.

She also loves the thrill of competition.

So, when her dad Brent doubted whether or not she should compete in the X-Games in Aspen at the end of January, just weeks before the Olympics, Ashleigh thanked him for his input and headed south of the border.

"I, as a parent, questioned the wisdom of her going in the X-Games, which was not something she needed to do for getting into the Olympics," said Brent.

"She said to me, 'Dad, I've run the course six times. It's fantastic. I can't wait to get back to the top when I get to the bottom and I need it to keep on top of my game.'"

Her response is a testament to her love and commitment to the sport.

That love of the sport is obvious, said team physiotherapist Chris Napier, just by watching Ashleigh at the end of a run.

"Ashleigh is all about making things fun," said Napier, who has worked closely on the athlete, dealing with her shoulder and other injuries.

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