Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Words from Whistler

Whistler Proud of Ashleigh McIvor, Ski Cross Olympic Champion

Ashleigh McIvor, from Whistler B.C., sent her fans and family into an instant frenzy as she became the first Olympic champion of Women’s Ski Cross. She showed complete focus and control and never seemed to waver as she skied the race she wanted to run and captured the gold medal. While the race through the difficult white out conditions was amazing to watch, what stood out was the tremendous support she has from her family and the people of Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish etc. who have watched their Ashleigh grow up and train for these Olympic Games.

What does support mean? During this Olympic week, Ashleigh’s parents appeared happy to be taking in various events. They were with Ashleigh as she watched her boyfriend Chris Del Bosco compete in the men’s ski cross, however they refused to ask her questions about her own event or about the Games. They said that if she wanted to talk about it, she would call them. The feeling was quite simply that they believed in her and wanted to support her, would love her regardless of her skiing results, but did not want to interfere or to add any undue pressure. Her family support was very evident as she had a large family contingent sitting in the stands cheering her on at Cypress Mountain.

The McIvor family is from Whistler and there is no doubt the people from the area feel they know Ashleigh and the family. The community in which you live is an extension of your family and listening to the locals cheer her on, there is an added powerful emotion that gives the feeling they have a special bond with the family. People are protective of Ashleigh, similar to a family bond, and when she succeeded they spoke of a pride and relief she had achieved her goals. Relief because they did not want to see her hurt, pride because they felt one of their own had succeeded. No one said they needed her to be number one, they simply wanted her to be happy and achieve her dream.

Watching the medal ceremony , surrounded by people who genuinely care, you couldn’t help but feel the loving warmth as the crowd sang loud and clear the Canadian anthem as the flag was raised. Congratulations Ashleigh McIvor – we’re proud of you!

Keep watching for more "Words from Whistler" as Debra Gassewitz, President & CEO, SIRC, continues her stay at Whistler. You can find Debra at Whistler Canada Olympic House.

1 comment:

sue d said...

Happy Birthday Debbie,
What a way to spend your day. Keep up the good work - it's tough but somebody has to do it!