Canada’s Kristi Richards was poised to become a podium threat heading into the 2010 Olympic Women’s Freestyle Moguls Final after qualifying in 4th place. Unfortunately, a crash in her final run would cost her a shot at an Olympic medal, and would have to settle for the 20th spot. Following her disappointing fall at the Winter Games in Vancouver, many people, including Richards herself, were wondering if it was the last time they would see the Pemberton, BC-based skier make an Olympic run.
But after participating in two Winter Olympic Games, winning the 2007 World Championships and standing on the FIS World Cup podium nine times, Canadian Freestyle mogul maven Kristi Richards announced today that she intends to carry on for another four years of training in preparation for Olympic glory in Sochi in 2014.
Richards became a fan favorite to many Canadian fans who lauded her tenacity and sportsmanship after her recent Olympic fall, as she picked herself up, brushed herself off, and wound the crowd into a frenzy with a huge full-twisting back flip off the bottom jump of the Cypress course.
However, Richards who will turn 32 years old in 2014, will not exactly be a youngster for a body pounding sport like mogul skiing.
However, Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO, Peter Judge, said that age is often an advantage in freestyle, especially for women – as long as they stay healthy.
Judge said that with backing from Canada’s Own the Podium, the CFSA has put together an excellent integrated support team of health practitioners that has been helping to keep athletes like Richards strong and fit.
“Richards is in a prime position and she’s proven that she’s willing to work hard. And, she has the maturity that will give her an edge. Next time around the stars just might align for her,” said Judge, referring to Richards bittersweet performance at the Vancouver 2010 Games.
Richards’ coach, Stephen Fearing dubbed her decision to go for Sochi a “no brainer,” adding, “She has in no way reached her peak, she’s still continuing to improve every training camp.”
Richards said, “I really love the lifestyle of being an athlete. It is all encompassing for a healthy body, mind and soul. Striving for excellence keeps me focused and honest with myself. I am looking forward to the experiences that will come in the next four years and I plan to use them to evolve. I also love that I can inspire others to follow their dreams and live a healthy life. I plan to continue to push the boundaries of our sport and my ability by doing new jumps, skiing faster and having the most technically correct turns on the World Cup circuit.