Maelle Ricker's Sochi Olympics end in disaster

Canada's Maelle Ricker competes during the women's snowboard cross qualification round at the 2014...

Canada's Maelle Ricker competes during the women's snowboard cross qualification round at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 16, 2014. (REUTERS)

TED WYMAN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

KRASNAYA POLYANA, RUSSIA - Credit Maelle Ricker for her stoicism on what must have been one of the most difficult days of her life.

The 35-year-old from Vancouver, who won the Olympic gold medal in snowboard cross in her hometown four years ago, managed to find a smile and even a few chuckles after her 2014 Olympic experience ended in disaster Sunday.

Ricker, who broke her forearm a month ago and wore a splint during Sunday’s runs, got off to a poor start in her quarterfinal heat, dropped quickly to fourth place and eventually fell while trying to catch up.

“I’m a little bit in shock,” Ricker said. “It’s something that’s going to replay in my head for years to come. I’m not going to be able to shake this one off very easily.”

Ricker talked a good game about the arm injury not affecting her before the Olympics, but admitted Sunday that it was a factor.

“For sure I don’t have my usual pull out of the gate,” she said. “It just kind of all fell apart there in the quarter-final. My start wasn’t anything to write home about and it just got worse and worse as I went down the course. Usually I’m able to refocus and get back on point, especially in pressure situations.

“I can usually pull up my socks and dig deep but that was really not the case today.”

Ricker was non-committal when asked if she would continue on with the sport, but sounded very upbeat, considering the circumstances.

“I love the travelling, I love being in the mountains, I love being part of this Canadian team,” she said.

“I feel pretty lucky to be a part of it all. It’s something I don’t feel like I want to turn my back on, but we’ll see.”

—Ted Wyman

 


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