ASHLEIGH MCIVOR

During qualifying time-trials at the 2009 World Ski Cross championship in Inawashiro, Japan, Ashleigh McIvor took a turn too tightly and hooked her ski on a gate. She flew down the hill end-over-end and landed in a heap, stopping almost at the bottom of the course. She finished two minutes off the leader but, amazingly, good enough to qualify. McIvor was seeded at the bottom — 28th out of 28. It meant that for each race, she had the worst starting position, far off the best lines of the course. If she was going to succeed, she needed a bold strategy. Being bold worked and propelled McIvor from the lowest qualifying position to winning the world championship and an Olympic berth.