2010 Winter Olympic Games: Maelle Ricker
When you are over 30 years old and recovering from multiple knee operations, the chances of winning a Gold Medal at the Olympics seem very slim. Canadian Snowboarder Maelle Ricker just so happened to beat those odds as she grabbed the gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
Knee For Gold
Maelle has had so many knee operations, that you need two hands to count them all. After finishing in 5th Place at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, she injured her knees so many times that she missed the 2002 Olympics and has been wearing two knee braces ever since. But her rehabilitation, training and desire to compete have now made her dream come true.
A Teeny Dream
When Maelle was a teenager, she tagged along with her brother Jorlie and his friends up the local mountains in Vancouver to learn how to snowboard. She immediately had the desire to compete in the Olympics one day. She started competing in the World Cup at Whistler in 1996. She competed in the half pipe and snowboard cross and placed high every year, winning first place often, but winning a medal at the Olympic Games was the one achievement she couldn't grasp.
At the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, she came in 4th Place. She said it was like seeing her true love on the subway and watching the train leave, breaking her heart to not win a medal. In 2007, she quit competing in the half pipe and 100% of her focus was directed toward the snowboard cross event.
Snowboard Cross Dominoes
Maelle won the 2010 Olympic Snowboard Cross Event fairly easily. As her opponents fell down like dominoes at the beginning of the gold medal run, Maelle cruised around the hometown track with only one other racer following her at a safe distance. As she crossed the finish line first, she pumped her fists and fell to delight, blowing a kiss to the camera as she finally caught her true love on the subway.