McIvor fashions success on skicross slopes

Thu Jan 7, 2010 2:08am EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ashleigh McIvor has strolled down the fashion runway in New York and modeled in major advertising campaigns but when it comes to winter sport the Canadian Olympian likes to play rough.

World skicross champion McIvor will get to show off her combativeness and skills on her home snow when her sport joins the Olympic program for the first time at the Vancouver Winter Games next month.

The 26-year-old McIvor, who began skiing at her Whistler Mountain home at the age of two, lights up when asked about bringing the one-time extreme sport of skicross into the Olympic spotlight.

"Skicross is kind of like motocross on skis," McIvor told Reuters in a recent interview about the event that combines natural terrain with jumps, rollers and banks and the jockeying of four skiers hurtling down the course at the same time.

"It's head-to-head competition. It's a race. Four skiers racing head-to-head down a course with banked turns, big jumps, big air, lots of action, high intensity. It's a pretty amazing spectator sport.

"It can get rough. You're not supposed to push or pull or cut people off but it definitely happens.

"I just try to go out there and ski my own race and pretend I don't have three people with sharp spears on the course right beside me," added McIvor, who once hit the runway at a New York fashion show entitled "Skiing is Sexy."

"There are many added components that you don't see in regular Alpine skiing. That's what makes it such a fun sport and that's why we're so excited to be a part of it."   Continued...