Dominique Maltais’ world-class steadiness makes her a snowboard cross great
She’s a lifelong rider, who didn’t quit at snowboarding until it became an obsession, and years later was the sport to pause a career in firefighting. All for snowboard cross gold at Vancouver 2010.
Vancouver was a disaster. But she didn’t quit, even then, and five years later Dominique Maltais has four more Crystal Globes, Olympic silver, and is riding better than she ever has.
Last week, after earning her 15th career World Cup victory, this one in Switzerland, Maltais reflected on a more relaxed approach to her 12th-straight FIS World Cup season, “I wanted to take it easy this year because it’s my last World Cup season,” she commented in a FIS story, “but I always want to finish on the podium.”
This hunger for success is probably how Dominique Maltais rose to be among the best-ever Canadian snowboard cross riders, alongside teammate and Vancouver 2010 Olympic champion Maëlle Ricker. This Saturday, Maltais will compete in what could be her final World Cup snowboard cross race in La Molina, Spain. She is 100 points behind France’s Nelly Moenne Loccoz in the race to defend her Crystal Globe.
Dominique Maltais: Career Highlights
Five Crystal Globes (2005-06, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14)
2013 World Silver Medallist + 2011 World Bronze Medallist
2012 Winter X Games Aspen Champion
15 World Cup victories, (for reference: Ricker has 16, American Lindsey Jacobellis has 27)
Winner Mellie Francon from Switzerland, centre, celebrates on the podium with Canadian athletes second placed Dominique Maltais, left, and third placed Maëlle Ricker, right, after the women’s World Cup snowboard cross race in Bad Gastein, Austria, on Thursday, Jan.5, 2006. (AP Photo / Andreas Schaad)
Maltais (right) in January 2006. She was a consistent performer on the World Cup circuit before Turin 2006.
Snowboard cross debuted at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Tanja Frieden of Switzerland, center and gold medallist, American Lindsey Jacobellis, left and silver medallist and Dominique Maltais, right and bronze medallist, react during the flower ceremony of Snowboard cross competition at the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Maltais was unable to fulfill her dream of Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010.
Dominique Maltais of Canada celebrates finishing first in the final, at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup race at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, Wednesday, February 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
l-r Dominique Maltais of Canada (first place) and Maelle Ricker of Canada (third place) pose together at the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup race at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, Wednesday, February 8, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley
Maltais on the top step of the podium in Ontario to begin the 2012 World Cup season.
Maltais sneaks around American Lindsey Jacobellis, in a snowboard cross semifinal at Sochi 2014.
Dominique Maltais (Sochi 2014)
Dominique Maltais at the victory ceremony, Sochi 2014
Dominique Maltais (Sochi 2014)
Watch: Dominique Maltais wins 2012 X Games gold