After just missing the podium in the 2006 Torino Olympics, Squamish’s Maëlle Ricker wants to be the first Canadian athlete to win gold on home soil.
Ricker came fourth in the event, which debuted in the 2006 Games, and says she’s spending the next two months training on mountains around North America to prepare for a second shot at the podium.
“We leave (today) for Colorado,” Ricker said of her busy travel schedule. “There’ll be a little bit of a Christmas break then (I’ll do) four or five races before February.”
Ricker said boardercross, also known as snowboarder cross, has changed a lot since the Torino Games.
“It’s definitely (still) evolving,” she said. “There’s a lot of new technology that’s come out with regards to boards, and the courses are getting more and more technical and more precise.”
She said the half pipes have recently gone from 18 feet to 22 feet and that, coupled with changing board technology, makes for faster rides and more technical tricks — and more interest from the next generation of boarders.