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North Vancouver's Maelle Ricker Cites Parents and Love of Sports for Olympic Gold Medal Win in Women's Snowboarding Competition

Maelle Ricker in a photograph by Linda Solomon

Applause from a room packed with journalists from around the world greeted Maelle Ricker as she prepared to talk about her gold medal win yesterday on the slopes of Cypress Mountain near her childhood home.


With a lucky Loonie in her pocket that her mother gave her, she said, she crouched down and put a little bit of snow on the back of her neck.


She looked up at the crowd, saw my family and friends. The newly minted superstar said she then thought "about exploding out of that gate as quickly as possible."


Since winning, she said, she had been "a little bit on Cloud 9. Since then, I feel a little bit shaky."


When she realized she'd won the medal, her first thought was of her mother.


"My parents are Carl and Nancy," she said, "and they've been a huge part of the process. Growing up they put me in every sport possible. I was always playing. Never sitting still. That's transfered to a lot of life lessons and as well my elder brother who taught me how to snowboard.



"I played a lot of sports growing up. I really enjoyed soccer. I love being on my mountain bike now. I like to play.



"I still can't believe I get to snowboard for a living. I've always dreamed of being an Olympic medalist and found this passion for snowboarding and just by chance was in the right place at the right time to combine these passions."


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