Olympics-Freestyle-McIvor puts golden footnote on college essay

VANCOUVER Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:03pm EST

VANCOUVER Feb 23 (Reuters) - Canadian skier Ashleigh McIvor wrote an essay for her college English class back in 2003 -- a hypothetical letter to the International Olympic Committee about why ski cross should be in the Winter Games.

Now she can put two footnotes on that essay:

1. The IOC made ski cross an Olympic sport for the 2010 Games.

2. I won the gold medal.

Talk about writing your own destiny.

"I am beginning to think that everything that has happened in my life has happened for a reason and I was just meant to be here at this point and racing on this course," the 26-year-old McIvor told Reuters after winning her gold medal on Tuesday.

McIvor, who grew up in nearby Whistler ski resort, read parts of the essay for Canadian television and showed a bit of embarrassment at her choice of words and a spelling error.

She did, however, stand by her argument that ski cross is pure adrenaline for spectators.

"The IOC is interested in keeping up with the next generation and keeping the Olympics cool and ski cross is a great way to do that," she told reporters later.

"It is such an amazing spectator sport. Four people racing head to head, huge features, jumps, big turns. It doesn't get much more thrilling than that."

While there were some nasty spills and crashes on Tuesday's course, McIvor made it look easy in all the qualifying heats and won by a sizable margin in the final one.

Even so, she maintains ski cross is dangerous. She has had to learn to pop her own shoulder back into place when it becomes dislocated.

While ski cross may be the newest form of Olympic ski racing, McIvor reminded reporters it has been "around forever, you know racing your friends from the top of the mountain to the bottom."

She was indeed destined to write the sport's first Olympic chapter.

"I was shredding pow, dropping cliffs, chasing the boys my whole life," McIvor said.

Third footnote: Pow means powder.

(Additional reporting by Deborah Charles; editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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