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Whistler Olympians

In other words… Julia Murray



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"Ever since she was a little girl she's dreamt about it," said Sloan.

The idea of being 21 and competing in 2010 had a nice ring to it, she added, and that was before they knew that in 2010 the Olympics would be in her own backyard.

Going off her track record they believed, and hoped, that Julia was going to be one of the lucky ones; one of those skiers not plagued by constant injuries, those recurring issues of the body.

This is the first major injury of her career.

"Her dad never got hurt really," said Sloan.

Julia's dad is Crazy Canuck Dave Murray, renowned ski racer and Olympian. He died of skin cancer before Julia turned two.

Fellow Crazy Canuck and Olympian Steve Podborski will be watching Julia on race day.

"I'm going to watch her for a bunch of reasons," he said. "I've known her since she was a wee little thing."

Podborski was a close friend of the family's who used to go on holidays with Dave and Stephanie.

When asked what makes Julia a ski cross champion, Podborski described it the way only a ski racer could:

"In alpine skiing you're always a hunter," he explained. "You're always just hunting because you're just working with the hill. But in ski cross you're either the hunter, chasing somebody, or the hunted, somebody's chasing you. So you have to be able to change your mindset very quickly.

"She has that ability."

And when she has a job to do, whether it be racing down the mountain or rehabilitating her knee, Julia has the strength of mind to single-handedly focus on the task.

Napier sees that determination first-hand. She is, he said, completely committed to getting her knee ready to race.

Murray spends an hour with Napier every morning, heads to the gym for a couple of hours and then back to physiotherapy for another couple of hours in the afternoon. Since Day 1 of the injury she has been working to keep up her strength, her balance and her muscles.

"She's up to anything and will do whatever it takes," said Napier. "It's been inspiring to see the way she's been handling it."

Napier was by her side when top orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bob McCormack, who is the Chief Medical Officer for Canada during the Games, operated on her knee recently, cleaning up her meniscus and giving her full range of motion.