Olympic Training Ground
As the winter icon of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler
provides the perfect training ground for competitive sports and through the years has
been home to some of the most talented athletes to represent Canada. Some have moved here after retiring and some have grown up skiing or riding the very
terrain that set the stage for the 2010 Winter Games.
Born in Vancouver but now residing in Squamish, Matt had his right leg amputated due
to cancer when he was five years old. He began ski racing at the age of 12 and when he
was 21, competed in the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in alpine skiing. Matt has since
become a five-time Canadian National Slalom Champion and placed 7th at the 2009 World
Cup Finals in Whistler. He currently ranks in the world top ten for slalom and
Tyler is a long-time Whistler resident and member of the Canadian 2010 National
Para-Nordic Team. A snowboarding accident in 2000 left Tyler with a 40 per cent
paralysis below the waist and since then, he has established himself as a Paralympic
cross-country skier and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games hopeful. Tyler works with the
Whistler Adaptive Ski Program and is campaigning to bring Adaptive Snowboarding to the
Paralympic Winter Games.
Ashleigh McIvor - 2010 Olympic Winter Games Gold Medal Winner for Women's
Born in 1983, Ashleigh grew up alpine ski racing and tried Ski Cross when she was 20
years old. Her natural talent immediately qualified her for the X Games and she
dominated the X qualifier at Lake Tahoe, despite dislocating her shoulder in training.
Fast forward to 2009 and Ashleigh now sits as Canada’s top female Ski Cross
athlete. She has been in the finals in five of the last six FIS World Cup races and
officially became the World Cup champion in March when she placed first at Inawashiro,
Japan. The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association announced on March 27, 2009 that Ashleigh
will be on the 2010 Olympic Ski Cross Team.
MAËLLE RICKER - 2010 Olympic Winter Games Gold Medal Winner for
Women's Snowboard Cross
Growing up in North Vancouver, Maëlle learned to snowboard in her teens on
Whistler Mountain and competed at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games in snowboarding
halfpipe. Later that year she started competing in multiple snowboard disciplines and
won her first World Cup gold in snowboard cross. She missed the 2002 Olympic Winter
Games due to injury and placed fourth at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games despite crashing
during her race and suffering a concussion. She was the overall World Cup champion in
the 07/08 season. Maëlle lives in Squamish, BC.
As a top contender for Team Canada in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Britt is a
9-time Canadian National Champion in downhill skiing. Growing up in West Vancouver, she
started skiing on Whistler’s slopes at the age of two and moved to Whistler
permanently (with her younger brother Mike) in 1995 to pursue skiing competitively.
Currently a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Britt won a World Cup gold medal in
Mike competed in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin and is currently training
hard to secure a place on Team Canada’s downhill ski team for the 2010 Games.
Mike moved to Whistler in 1995 (with his older sister Britt) and started skiing
competitively with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. In 2000, he became a member of the
Canadian Alpine Ski Team and joined the World Cup circuit. Mike won a World Cup silver
medal in 2006.
As the daughter of late Canadian skiing legend, “Crazy Canuck” Dave
Murray, and World Champion Freestyle skier Stephanie Sloan, Julia was born with skiing
in her blood. Growing up in Whistler, Julia began ski racing at the age of eight and in
2007, joined the inaugural Canadian Ski Cross Team. Ski Cross is a relatively new sport
that features ski racing on a technically demanding course full of bumps, jumps, turns
and rollers, similar to a motocross track. Ski Cross will make its debut at the 2010
Olympic Winter Games.
Growing up in Whistler, Davey started skiing as soon as he could walk and began
competitive racing in 2002. After joining the newly formed Canadian Ski Cross Team in
2007, Davey won a gold medal at the first ever FIS World Cup Ski Cross event held in
North America in February 2008.
Born on January 4, 1985, Robbie has been skiing for 20 years. Growing up in North
Vancouver, Robbie moved in with his Whistler-based grandparents at the age of 14 so he
could pursue his dream of skiing competitively. Starting out with the Whistler Mountain
Ski Club, he moved up quickly, eventually earning himself a place on the Canadian
Alpine Ski Team. Robbie currently competes on the World Cup circuit and hopes to
represent Canada in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Mercedes is a member of the Canadian Snowboarding Team and has been riding since she
moved to Whistler at 11 years old. She represented Canada in the 2006 Olympic Winter
Games in Turin and came in second and third place at two World Cup Half Pipe events in
2005. Mercedes finished second in the 2008 National Championships and is a 2010 Olympic
Winter Games hopeful.
Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Crispin now calls Whistler home and is a member of
the Canadian Snowboarding Team. He represented Canada at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games
in Turin and earned gold at the 2006 and 2008 FIS World Cups. Most recently, Crispin
won bronze in the men’s half pipe at the World Cup 2008/09 snowboard circuit
season opening event in New Zealand.
A Vancouver native, Dave Murray was one of the original Crazy Canucks, a team of
world-class downhill skiers who burst onto the scene to challenge the Europeans in a
sport they had dominated in for decades. Over all, the Crazy Canucks earned a total of
107 top 10 World Cup finishes from 1978 to 1984. After retiring from professional
sports, Dave moved to Whistler in 1982 and eventually opened the Dave Murray Ski School
in 1988. Dave passed away in October 1990 at the age of 37 after a valiant battle with
skin cancer. In 1991, Whistler Mountain named a run in his honour; the Dave Murray
Downhill is recognized as one of the best downhill courses in the world and is the
venue for the 2010 Olympic downhill skiing events.
Born in Toronto, Steve started skiing at the age of three. As a member of the Crazy
Canucks, Steve’s strength, skill and daring style earned him a bronze medal in
downhill at the 1980 Winter Olympics. In 1982, he became the first non-European winner
of the World Cup downhill championship title. He retired in 1984 with eight World Cup
wins. In the early 1990s, Steve moved to Whistler and was the Executive Director of
International Relations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid. He remains the most
successful and decorated male downhill ski racer in Canadian history.
Voted Canada’s Female Athlete of the Century, Nancy started skiing at the age
of three and grew up skiing on Red Mountain in BC’s interior. During
Nancy’s nine-year racing career, she won three U.S. Championship titles and nine
Canadian titles. The World Cup was introduced in 1967 and Nancy won the overall title
two years in a row. The 1968 Winter Olympics brought Nancy a silver medal in slalom and
gold medal in giant slalom. Having reached her goals, she retired at the age of 24.
Nancy moved to Whistler in 1975 with her husband, Al Raine, and both became major
players in establishing Whistler as an international ski destination. Through the years
Nancy and Al worked hard to promote Whistler to investors, skiers and the media, and
built one of Whistler’s first hotels in 1985, called Nancy Greene’s Olympic
Lodge. After 19 years, Nancy and Al decided to leave Whistler but her legacy lives
Growing up in Vernon, BC, Rob began skiing at the age of three using a homemade rope
tow his dad made him. Moving to Whistler at a young age, Rob honed his racing skills
and at 20 years old, started winning World Cup competitions. In 1989, on his home turf
of Whistler, he became the first Canadian male downhill skier to win World Cup gold in
his home country. Rob went on to win three World Cups and competed in three Olympics
before retiring in 1997. Rob still makes his home in Whistler (there’s even a
street called Rob Boyd Way) and currently coaches the Women’s National Ski Team
as they prepare for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
A three-time World Champion Freestyle skier, Stephanie has made Whistler home since
the mid-1980s. Working as a ski instructor, she created the Stephanie Sloan Women Only
Ski Program at Whistler Blackcomb when she noticed that few women would sign up for her
bump clinics because they were intimidated by the men. Today, Stephanie is the Director
of Women on the Edge Ski Programs and a successful Whistler real estate agent.
On February 8, 1998, Ross made history when he became the inaugural gold medal
winner in snowboarding at the Nagano Winter Olympics. Born in North Vancouver, Ross
moved to Whistler at the age of 19 to pursue snowboarding full-time and in 1996 and
1997, he took gold at the World Cup Snowboarding Championships. Blackcomb Mountain has
since named a run after him, called Ross’ Gold, and a small park in Whistler bears
his name. In 2007, Ross left Whistler to become the Director of Snowboarding and Skiing
at Kelowna Mountain in BC’s interior.