Irwin, first named to the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in 2011, is a versatile skier who has recorded nine Nor-Am Cup podiums in super combined, super-G, giant slalom and slalom. Irwin was 10th in giant slalom at the 2011 FIS Junior World Ski Championships. The native of Toronto, Ont., comes from a sports-mad family; her twin brother Keegan plays rugby, her sister Mackenzie skis for St. Lawrence University in the U.S., while fellow sibling Brayden plays hockey in the American Hockey League.
1st – Slalom – Nor-Am Cup – Vail, USA (2012)
2nd – Super combined – Canadian Championships – Nakiska, Alta. (2011)
2nd – Super-G – Nor-Am Cup – Nakiska, Alta. (2011)
Giant slalom: 10th
Super combined: 7th
|Ski club:||Craigleith Ski Club|
|Sponsor:||Rocket National Services|
Nickname: Madi, Mad Dog. I’m not really sure how Mad Dog started but it was when I was racing in Collingwood, Ont. I didn’t tell anybody about it when I made Prospect Team but my teammates came up with it as well. I must give off that vibe!
What is your first memory of skiing? I remember throwing a huge tantrum the first day I got ski poles. I wasn’t using them properly, so my mom took them away, and I just remember throwing a total temper tantrum on the ground, smashing my hands and feet into the snow. My mom just skied away and left me in the middle of the hill.
What has been your best moment in ski racing? The best moments are the internal successes. When I make goals that only I know about, and when I see myself reaching those benchmarks and rising to the bar I set for myself, that’s always the best part. Subtle successes.
What has been your worst moment in ski racing? There have been quite a few, but I think it’s important to just move on. You have that moment and deal with it, and then go forward.
What is your Olympic dream? To be at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and to be a competitor. I have my work cut out for me for these Winter Games because I am still coming off of a back injury and I’m still fairly new on the World Cup circuit, but I’d love to make it to Sochi. I definitely want to be a contender at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.
What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? Seeing a new country and having a completely new experience – one I probably wouldn’t get if I wasn’t involved in skiing.
If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? “Country Girl” by Luke Bryan.
If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be and why? I would probably need to bring my parents, and they can pick the third person!
What’s a talent or skill you have that fans might be surprised to learn about? I’m really good at losing thumb wars, and parallel parking!
If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? I’d spend it with my friends camping, or anything where you can get a big group of people together.
If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I would want to work in healthcare. As a hobby I would love to cook all the time, and I can also see myself being a very solid lady behind a desk.
When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: in the gym, napping, or at the cottage.
What’s the best thing about your hometown? The people who I get to work with, and my family and my dogs are there. We have two yellow labs and I miss them all the time. We actually have the dogs because my parents told me during a rough patch of my racing that if I won a race, we could get a dog. I won a race and when we went to get the puppy, there was only one other dog left, and we just couldn’t leave him.
Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: A blender. When you’re on the road you don’t always get all the veggies and good stuff you need, so I like making smoothies.
Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season: Kaiserschmarrn from Austria. It’s a dessert that’s kind of like scrambled pancakes. It comes with a sauce – vanilla, apple or sometimes cranberry. It’s buttery and awesome. I definitely don’t have it on race day!
If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alta. It would be awesome. It’s right in the city so lots of people would be able to come watch and see how great ski racing is.
Where is your favourite place to race or train? To train, Hinterreit, Austria, and to race, Whistler, B.C. I love being in Whistler before, during and after and event.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To breathe underwater. I love to swim, and what if you could just do it without worrying about breathing?
If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? It would be Sir Richard Branson’s property on Necker Island, just like it was before it burnt down. I haven’t been there, but it has to be my favorite place on the planet.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road? Our team gets a little bit silly on the road sometimes. We’ve been known to wear costumes, and we’re pretty keen on photo shoots. Being with the girls, you’re usually going to find something silly.
Who is someone you admire in sport, and why? I admire Bebe Zoricic. He has been a coach of mine growing up, and he’s probably been the person who has instilled in me the most amount of passion for ski racing. He really adds fuel to the flame. His unbiased, unconditional love and devotion to anyone who participates in ski racing is really inspiring.
3rd - Slalom - Vail, USA (Dec. 2013)
1st – Slalom – Vail, USA (Feb. 2012)
3rd – Giant slalom – Vail, USA (Feb. 2012)
3rd – Super-G – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2011)
2nd – Super combined – Nakiska, Alta. (Dec. 2011)
2nd – Super-G – Nakiska, Alta. (Dec. 2011)
3rd – Super-G – Whister, B.C. (March 2011)
3rd – Giant slalom – Whistler, B.C. (March 2011)
2nd – Giant slalom – Whistler, B.C. (March 2011)
2nd – Slalom – Whistler, B.C. (March 2011)