Maelle Ricker's golden dreams in Sochi came to a crashing halt on Sunday (Feb. 16).
Competing in the snowboard cross quarterfinal, the Squamish resident fell on a tight curve and failed to advance to the next round of competition. She finished 21st overall for the event.
She admitted that an arm injury she suffered a few weeks prior to the Olympics did impact her performance.
“I (didn't) have my usual pull out of the gate,” Ricker told Postmedia News following the event. “It just kind of all fell apart there in the quarter-final. My start wasn't anything to write home about and it just got worse and worse as I went down the course. Usually I'm able to refocus and get back on point, especially in pressure situations. I can usually pull up my socks and dig deep, but that was really not the case today.”
Ricker said it was a disappointing way to conclude her time in Sochi.
“I'm a little bit in shock,” she said. “It's something that's going to replay in my head for years to come. I'm not going to be able to shake this one off very easily.”
She did post the fourth fastest time during the qualifying rounds earlier on Sunday but what might soften the sting for Ricker is the fact that her teammate Dominique Maltais finished with the silver medal. Four years ago it was Maltais who crashed and was left disappointed.
“It was good revenge for Vancouver,” Maltais said. “It had been a big stress on my shoulders over the past four years. I was on a mission.”
Eva Samkova of the Czech Republic won the gold, with Chloe Trespeuch from France taking home the bronze.
Squamish's Rob Fagan is up next, as the men's snowboard cross competition goes down on Monday (Feb. 17). After Fagan, Squamish residents Roz Groenewoud and Keltie Hansen compete in the Ladies Ski Halfpipe starting on Thursday (Feb. 20).
Stay tuned to The Chief for continued coverage of local athletes at the Olympics.