When Ashleigh McIvor won gold at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, something clicked for Whistler’s Marielle Thompson. Seeing another skier from her hometown take gold made Thompson realize that maybe someday she could too. Motivation set, just four years later in Sochi, ‘Big Air Mar’ stood atop the podium as the second-straight Whistler-born-and-raised ski cross racer to claim Olympic gold. Dream had become reality.
The origins of that dream began when Thompson’s parents had her on skis at age two. She first made the national team alongside her hero McIvor in the 2010-11 season at age 18. The following season, she broke through with her first World Cup gold medal on home snow at Ontario’s Blue Mountain, and then capped it all off by claiming the 2012 overall World Cup title in ski cross—the first Canadian ski cross racer to win a Crystal Globe.
Thompson later earned two more Crystal Globes in 2014 and 2017, as well as a second place finish in 2016. To date, she has 20 World Cup victories and 31 podium finishes. A five-time Canadian champion, she has also won silver medals at the 2013 FIS world championships and 2016 Winter X Games.
Injured less than four months before the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Thompson made a remarkable recovery in time to not only compete, but finish first in the seeding round. One of the world’s top ski cross racers, she expects to carve and soar for Canada in years to come on ski cross courses around the world.
Written and researched by Jason Beck, curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
To view the 2018 Inductee career and thank you videos please visit our YouTube Channel here.