As part of our countdown to Sochi 2014, Olympic.ca is showcasing 14 Canadian medal contenders in 14 weeks. Each week we take a look at an Olympian with a chance of reaching the podium for Canada come February.
This week we look at…
Since snowboard cross made its Olympic Winter Games debut in 2006, Canadian women have medalled in both Turin and Vancouver. The latter was a gold won by Vancouver-born Maëlle Ricker, making her the first Canadian woman to become Olympic champion on home soil.
What makes her a medal contender?
Four years since her Vancouver triumph, Ricker – who will turn 35 in December – is getting ready for her Sochi title defence riding on recent success. She is proof that experience can often trump youth.
Ricker won gold at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships 2013, edging fellow Canadian and Turin bronze medallist Dominique Maltais in snowboard cross. Ricker will be heading to Sochi as the defending Olympic and world champion in her sport.
Sochi will be the fourth Olympic Winter Games for Ricker. She previously competed at Nagano in other snowboard disciplines, missed Salt Lake City due to injury and finished fourth in Turin before winning hometown Olympic gold in 2010.