Ricker ready to take them all on

A sprin­kle of cold snow helps Canada’s leader in snow­board cross racing give her all in the ex­treme win­ter sport

Vancouver Sun - - CANADA & WORLD -

As a reg­u­lar fea­ture, StarPhoeni­x sports re­porter Cory Wolfe gets per­sonal with a sports fig­ure. To­day, Cana­dian snow­board cross racer Maelle Ricker of Squamish gets cornered. Ricker leads the women’s World Cup stand­ings, hav­ing won three of her five starts this sea­son, and is a favourite to win Olympic gold.

Canwest: You once said that fin­ish­ing fourth at the 2006 Olympics was like see­ing the love of your life on the sub­way but never get­ting to meet them. For­tu­nately for you, that sub­way car has rolled back into view. Ner­vous?

Ricker: ( Laughs) I’m ex­cited, ac­tu­ally. When we were driv­ing down ( Wed­nes­day) I was get­ting re­ally ex­cited on the bus with ev­ery­body, see­ing the dif­fer­ent Olympic venues. We went by the fig­ure skat­ing venue as we came in through Van­cou­ver. I’m ready to go. We’ve been train­ing and ev­ery­thing feels good. I just want to get up on that course and have some fun.

Canwest: If the snow­board­ing gods cornered you and said, ‘ We’ll guar­an­tee that you’ll win Olympic gold if you agree to have three years shaved off the end of your life’ would you ac­cept their deal?

Ricker: I think I would. ( Laughs) In my fam­ily, we’re a stub­born bunch and his­tor­i­cally, they’ve lived for a very long time, so I wouldnt mind shav­ing a few years for hav­ing fun right now.

Canwest: What’s one of your es­sen­tial pre-race rit­u­als?

Ricker: I al­ways put a chunk of snow on the back of my neck in the start gate. It gives me a lit­tle zap and it’s some­thing I’ve al­ways done.

Canwest: Racing down an icy moun­tain ob­vi­ously doesn’t scare you. What does?

Ricker: I’ve never been a fan of snakes. I was back­pack­ing in Costa Rica and I al­most stepped on a re­ally poi­sonous one. I was like 18, and that def­i­nitely got my heart go­ing.

Canwest: Com­plete the fol­low­ing sen­tence. I, Maelle Ricker, could use a copy of The Com­plete Idiot’s Guide to ...

Ricker: Any­thing elec­tronic. I’m just not so good at it. I get that from my dad.

Canwest: would you Which hide if item you knew in your some home re­ally cool Ricker: peo­ple I def­i­nitely were com­ing like some over? DVDs and some TV to se­ries see. that I wouldn’t want ev­ery­body

Canwest: Con­fess one.

Ricker: I can’t tell you that! Thats con­fi­den­tial.

Canwest: OK, what’s the most awestruck you’ve been in the pres­ence of a celebrity?

Ricker: I’m a huge fan of ( speed skater) Clara Hughes and I got to meet her in Torino the night af­ter she won the 5,000 me­tres. I was def­i­nitely awestruck.

Canwest: Sup­pose you had a time ma­chine. Name a time be­fore you were born that you’d like to visit.

Ricker: I’d like to go back to the Egyp­tian era for sure. Learn­ing about their cul­ture in high school and through cour­ses, it seems like a pretty in­ter­est­ing time.

Canwest: Which lesser-known Van­cou­ver han­gout would you rec­om­mend to a tourist?

Ricker: I re­ally, re­ally love Asian cui­sine, so there’s lots of good restau­rants. In par­tic­u­lar, there’s a Thai restau­rant in West Van that’s re­ally good: Thai Pud­pong. It’s nice and small and has awe­some food.

Canwest: And fi­nally, name your bronze, sil­ver and gold medal­lists of un­der­rated plea­sures.

Ricker: Sleep is a pretty high com­mod­ity. That could be in there. And pow­der. I def­i­nitely could use a lit­tle more pow­der. And get­ting kids in­volved in sport and get­ting ev­ery­body out there, that’s pretty huge. That would be the gold ... get­ting peo­ple out­side.

Maelle Ricker would trade three years of her life for a gold medal this month. | Jenelle Sch­nei­der/ Van­cou­ver Sun files

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.