When I got the call from Sue Griffin that I was to be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, I was shocked...to say the least. I don't think I quite realized what an honour that was until I spent some time in the Hall, reading stories seeing images of all of my own sports heroes. At the induction ceremony in the absolutely gorgeous Vancouver Convention Centre, it actually started to sink in.
It's just still so hard for me to comprehend the true meaning of what I've done, in winning my Olympic Gold Medal. I'm still me, and I was just out there doing what I do. As I said in my short acceptance speech, I really feel that anybody, given the opportunities that I've been given having grown up in this wonderful province, could have gone and done what I've done. I'm just the lucky one who got to go and represent what we are all about. I mean, obviously it takes discipline and courage to seize those opportunities, and I certainly had to fight hard to make the most of all of them, all I'm saying is that I have had so many amazing coaches, teachers, friends, friends' parents, teammates, etc... who all made the journey to Olympic Gold seem like the natural path for me, every step of the way.
My parents had me on skis when I was less than 2 years old. We had these three carpeted steps that dropped down into our sunken living room in Whistler's newest neighbourhood at the time, Tapley's Farm. The area was full of young families who had been encouraged to move to Whistler and start building the local community and the local economy by being offered affordable lots, subsidized by the resort and set up as a type of strata, where the financing was acquired as a group so that very little capital had to be provided by each member. My earliest memories of skiing are underneath the Magic Chair, at the bottom of Blackcomb, skiing between my Dad's legs holding on to his poles which were across his knees, my skis in a snowplow between his much bigger snowplow so that if they started to take me in the wrong direction I couldn't go more than a few inches. My parents spent countless days waiting for me as a kid, choosing to allow my sister and me to ski with them instead of putting us in ski school like most of the other hardcore ski bum parents did. I remember this when I'm waiting for them these days! I also remember my Mom's "keep it positive" approach, and often tell people teaching their partners how to ski to be sure to adopt that mentality. If I wanted to go in for hot chocolate, we went in for hot chocolate. I didn't turn out to be a worse skier for it. Thanks again, Mom and Dad, for waiting so patiently for me.
Thanks, also, to:
Keith & Tracy McIvor
...and all of the other supportive Teachers and Principles at Myrtle Philip Elementary, Whistler Secondary, and UBC as well as all of my teammates and my friends who have supported me, and pushed me all the way through