Posts Tagged ‘mercedes nicoll’

Summer Camp for the Winter Olympics

Monday, October 7th, 2013

By: New York Times
October 7, 2013

WANAKA, New Zealand — From the bottom, they look like butterflies, dropping soundlessly into the halfpipe and soaring high above its walls, spinning and flipping, flashes of color cascading over the whiteness. It’s only after they skid to a stop and lift their bug-eyed goggles that you see the dreadlocks and soul patches, the Rockstar and Monster energy-drink logos, the tie-dye slickers and the ubiquitous ear buds.

Snowboarders remain locked in their heads as they compete to their personal soundtracks. Shredders are big on lifestyle and community, but on this beautiful and remote halfpipe, they are focused and withdrawn.

Every August, the world’s best snowboarders come to work on big-air and physics-defying tricks in this tiny town hidden by mountains and surrounded by sheep. The athletes flock here for one reason: Wanaka has the only Olympic-size halfpipe open anywhere in the world at that time of year.

That means, especially heading into an Olympic year, Wanaka becomes a ground zero of aerial somersaults and 360-degree flips that is unlike anything else on the planet.

“We’re a community, and there’s a lot of support, no matter what your country,” said Gretchen Bleiler, who won a silver medal for the United States at the 2006 Turin Games. “But I’m not going to lie: there’s a lot more intensity than usual.”

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Athlete Limelight: Mercedes Nicoll

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Mercedes Nicoll

Mercedes grew up in Whistler, where she learned to snowboard. Nicoll has represented Canada in the halfpipe at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, finishing 6th at the 2010 Games. Mercedes has been competing in halfpipe since 1997 and is a five-time National Champion. She has competed in various World Cups, World Championships, as well as X Games. Nicoll works closely with the Whistler Blackcomb foundation. Read more about her at mercedesnicoll.com

Board & Other Sponsors:
Drake, DFL 146. Northwave, Drake, Powder Room, IS Eyewear, Whistler Blackcomb, POW.

Mercedes Nicoll

Q&A:

1. The mountain I learned to ride on was: Whistler when I was 14 years old

2. I can’t live without: Family and friends

3. My favorite cuisine is: Japanese

4. When I’m not riding, you can find me: Basking in the sun, reading a book.

5. My favorite movie of all time is without question: Dirty Dancing

6. Who/What inspires you? Friends and family

7. Favorite:

  1. Bands: Awolnation, Pink, the Black Keys, Serena Ryder, Olly Murs, ZZ Ward, Ellie Goulding
  2. Books: Jaime Oliver cookbooks
  3. Vacation Spots: Barcelona, London, Japan