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Episode 24: Maëlle Ricker

Snowboarder Maëlle Ricker talks success, injury and why she retired when she wasn’t ready to

Today, snowboarder Maëlle Ricker joins OTP to discuss winning an Olympic Gold in her own backyard, what it’s like to ride a snowboardcross course, and her journey towards coaching for Canada Snowboard.

Being from North Vancouver, Maëlle started snowboarding when she was just a teen, and says she got lucky with her timing when it came to the Olympics, being able to be part of that first snowboarding wave in Nagano 1998. There, she competed in the halfpipe, but ended up switching to snowboardcross, which earned her a gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In this week’s episode, Maëlle fondly remembers what she calls the golden years of Canadian snowboardcross, and what it was like to win gold on home soil (the first Canadian woman to do so!). She also explains why she’s actually embarrassed by her final run.

But while she was prepared for the competition at the Games, Maëlle says she failed to prepare herself for what would happen after she won gold. It took her some time to find her voice and realize it was a platform to promote her beliefs and values.

Maëlle also discusses some of the injuries she dealt with (competing in Sochi with a cast and broken ribs!) and explains the tough decision to retire, which she wasn’t fully ready for. Now she’s the co-head coach for Canada Snowboard and tells Christina about what the future looks like in the sport and how they’re working to attract more riders.

Episode topics:

· Competing in four Olympic Games

· Winning Gold in snowbaordcross at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics

· Injuries, competing with a broken wrist and ribs

· Her struggles with retirement

· Being the snowboardcross national team co-head coach


“When I was part of the Canadian team, I felt like it didn’t matter if you were a woman or a man. It was all about performance……and being a medallist in 2010, I didn’t feel like it discriminated in any way shape or form, if anything I only felt supported through my career.”

-Maëlle Ricker


Guest Info – Maëlle Ricker

Instagram: @maellericker

Twitter: @maellericker

Host Info – Christina Heydanus

Instagram: @tinaheydanus

Twitter: @tinaheydanus

Show Info – Opening the Playbook

Website: openingtheplaybook.com

Instagram: @openingtheplaybook

Facebook: Opening the Playbook

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