By Nicole Fitzgerald
At first glance the Canadian Swimwear Model of the Year finals, held last month at Tonic in Vancouver, seem to unroll like any other amateur swimsuit competition. The lineup of bikini-clad beauties are Kitsilano Beach poster girls. The pretty and pretentious parade of fashion magazine photocopies sport silicone breasts and gym-hardened or diet-driven figures perfected in a tanning booth.
Browned and blonde, the figures lining the stage are as undefined as the replicated Malibu Barbie.
But out of the swimwear lineup, steps a new model — one set apart from the others by the length of the Sea to Sky Highway, and who requires no gym membership.
Amongst soft curves, Whistler’s Virginia Croy steps forward, embodying the spirit of the mountain town she represents, with her ripped 124 pound, 5’8” tall frame cut to goddess proportions from a life devoted to the great outdoors.
She is a stuntwoman, dancer and cowgirl by trade; an extreme kayaker, snowmobiler and skier by sport; an artist and Whistler devotee at heart; and a true beauty both in body and soul who is not hindered by conventional ideals or lifestyle — the secret to her success.
For Croy, the swimsuit competition ran more than skin deep. The event was an opportunity to showcase what a Whistler woman’s beauty is all about. Her mother, traveling from the Sunshine Coast to Vancouver, watched on with glowing pride at her daughter’s success.
“It was really cool to go down and represent Whistler,” Croy says during one of those rare moments when she is home at her condo in Whistler. “It was nice to come down as a Whistler chick. I have a muscular body and flat chest. It just showed the more athletic kind of woman; the kind of girl you find in Whistler. There is nothing fake about her. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out because we do so much outside. It is cool to be different, but I wasn’t what they were looking for.”