Olympics: Canadian McIvor wins women’s ski cross gold


CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, BC (Feb. 23) – For the first time in weeks, it snowed at Cypress Mountain today. The flakes started falling just as the inaugural Olympic women’s ski cross event kicked off. The winter weather didn’t stop the racers, however, as Canadian Ashleigh McIvor won the first gold medal of the new event.

Norway’s Hedda Bernsten took the silver medal ahead of French skier Marion Josserand with the bronze. McIvor led the entire final heat, but Bernsten and Josserand traded places twice through the course’s rolling sections.

“It’s fabulous to have been here and come in with the favorites,” said Josserand, who grabbed much of the attention at the podium press conference. “My parents are not skiers. They just won’t believe what’s happened to me.”

McIvor, the defending world champion, had a master’s touch on the course’s challenging Wu-Tang feature. The W shaped set of ramps that challenge racers right out of the start gate, slowed racers and changed the look of heats all day long. McIvor, who has had plenty of opportunities to train on the feature, sailed to the front of each of her four heats and went on to win the first medal of any color by a Canadian ski racer at these games.

“It’s just so awesome to represent my home country, my home province, my hometown at the Olympic Games,” said McIvor who is dating ski cross teammate Christopher Del Bosco. “It’s weird. This is the only race of my life, when I just felt like I was going to win.”
 
“I only know that I thought I was going to win. I used to think that I was going to jinx it, if I thought that,” continued McIvor. “But I had a really good feeling about this race. Since the X Games, I knew I could get outside the starting gates faster than the fastest starters. It’s a crazy feeling, but I knew I was going to win.”
 
Bernsten was McIvor’s only challenger all day. The two crossed paths in the semifinal when Bernsten made a great pass in the middle of the course. McIvor looking back to see she had a finals spot in the bag, took it easy through the remainder of the heat and went on to dominate Bernsten and everyone else in the final.

It looked like might come down to a pair of Canadians as Kelsy Serwa qualified fourth then handily beat out all challengers in her first two heats. The trend was broken when Swede Karin Huttary charged from the back of the pack, taking advantage of a rare mistake by Serwa and running away with the semifinal win. Serwa was also passed by Josserand and was forced to settle for winning the small final and fifth-place overall.
“Ashleigh is really, really good, so she makes it look easy and that’s cool,” said Serwa. “I wanted to be in the Final with Ashleigh [McIvor] but I did the best I could. I won the Small Final and that’s the best I could do in that situation.”

Julia Murray, daughter of crazy Canuck Dave Murray (who the men’s alpine Olympic course is named after), overcame a knee injury late in the season to participate in her first Olympics and come away with a 12th-place finish after a mistake in her quarterfinal heat cost her precious speed and she was eliminated.

The win was especially sweet for the Canadian team and fans who where disappointed after their men’s team failed to produce a medal on Sunday.
 
For second consecutive day, Cypress Mountain was the site of a huge upset. Last night World Cup leading aerialist Anton Kushnir blew the landing of his second qualifying jump, and failed to make the 12-man final. Today, six-time World Cup champion and four-time X Games champ Ophelie David, 33,  of France misread a jump at the top of the course, fell and was pushed to a fourth-place finish in her quarterfinal heat.

No American women ski cross racers qualified for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Ski Team.

Click the attachment below to see a complete race ladder.

Image by Gepa

 1  2  2484439 MCIVOR Ashleigh  1983  CAN       1000.00
 2  5  2324342 BERNTSEN Hedda  1976  NOR       800.00
 3  13  2526237 JOSSERAND Marion  1986  FRA       600.00
 4  8  2396612 HUTTARY Karin  1977  AUT       500.00
 5  4  2527273 SERWA Kelsey  1989  CAN       450.00
 6  1  2527563 HOLMLUND Anna  1987  SWE       400.00
 7  3  2526373 SMITH Fanny  1992  SUI       360.00
 8  18  2526527 BRENDENGEN JENSEN Julie  1990  NOR       320.00
 9  6  2394866 DAVID Ophelie  1976  FRA       290.00
 10  11  2386815 ILJANS Magdalena  1969  SWE       260.00
 11  12  2527513 HOEIE GJEFSEN Marte  1989  NOR       240.00
 12  14  2526906 MURRAY Julia  1988  CAN       220.00
 13  15  2485085 OWENS Jenny  1978  AUS       200.00
 14  16  2444045 FARIC Sasa  1984  SLO       180.00
 15  17  2323372 CREMA Katya  1988  AUS       160.00
 16  26  2526530 RIEMEN Karolina  1988  POL       150.00
 17  7  2526849 WOERNER Anna  1989  GER       140.00
 18  9  2526363 MUELLER Katrin  1989  SUI       130.00
 19  10  2527287 POLESCHUK Danielle  1986  CAN       120.00
 20  19  2527434 ZACHER Heidi  1988  GER       110.00
 21  20  2484342 FJELLVANG-SOELLING Sophie  1981  DAN       100.00
 22  21  2452775 FUKUSHIMA Noriko  1979  JPN       90.00
 23  22  2526015 OFNER Katrin  1990  AUT       80.00
 24  23  2527570 LIMBACHER Andrea  1989  AUT       70.00
 25  24  2484546 MANHARD Julia  1987  GER       60.00
 26  25  2484707 GUTENSOHN Katharina  1966  AUT       50.00
 27  27  2484802 KVINLOG GENLID Gro  1976  NOR       45.00
 28  28  2526236 GEORGES Chloe  1980  FRA       40.00
 29  29  2404663 STEFFEN Franziska  1981  SUI       36.00
 30  30  2526828 GREIG Michelle  1988  NZE       32.00
 31  31  2485279 DELGADO Rocio  1977  SPA       28.00
 32  32  2525884 LIVINSKAYA Yulia  1990  RUS       26.00
 33  1035  2527429 NEDELCU Ruxandra  1984  ROU       0.00
 34  1034  2526819 SAUVEY Sarah  1983  GBR       0.00
 35  1003  2527486 LUEDI Sanna  1986  SUI       0.00
Women’sLadder.pdf 73 KB

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