Very few things scare snowboarder Mercedes Nicoll, and depression is definitely not one of them.
Every time she gets up on top of the halfpipe she gets excited. A heartwarming feeling takes over and it’s one of the best feelings you could ever experience. She feels like she’s on top of the world. Then, her whole world came crashing down.
After a devastating crash during practice runs in Sochi 2014, Mercedes knew something was different. Her personality was wiped, her sparkle was lost.
Two tops that make me, me 🙋. @teamcanada @happinessisinc . Two teammates I get to share this journey with 👩👧👦. @dklivingston @caleventures . . I am Canadian 🇨🇦. I persisted when the Dr. told me to retire🙆 . We Are Team Canada 🙌. . . #teamCanada #redsweater #canada #persistence #happiness #🤗 #smile #yesyoucan #olympics #peyongchang #snowboarding #thatlookthough #🤣
She fell more than 2 storeys, backwards into the half pipe, crushing both her hip and the side of her face. She worked so hard to get to Sochi, and now all of it was coming crumbling down. She knew she was concussed, she had no idea depression was about to sink in.
Depression is something that just takes over. You can look fine on the outside, but inside you’re falling apart. Mercedes is not afraid to live with depression. It’s a part of who she is, and she hopes to inspire others to share what they have gone through because once you share it, everyone can heal together.
While going through recovery for her injuries she took up art therapy. Painting and putting all of her emotions out there, for everyone to see. Expressing all of her feelings on canvas was her outlet that helped her through the darkest of times.
I've learned a lot in the past four years. It wasn't an easy journey, but I'm grateful to be back💖. . It was never a dream of mine to compete at the Olympics, as I started competing in snowboarding the Olympics became a goal. . At my first Games in 2006, I fell in qualifiers, ending my first Olympics with the surge of revenge in my body. . In my backyard at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics I made my way through qualifiers, semifinals and finals ending up top Canadian in halfpipe, 6th place. I had @marniemc2 and @rickhansenfdn asking me how I though I could do at the next Games… . For my third Games, Sochi 2014 was a contest that would change my life forever. 2014 did not go many people's way, due to sever snow conditions. A crash in practice that took over two years to recover from, not knowing, only hoping I would snowboard again. . Three years ago I could not have imagined my 4th Olympics being a possibility. I've worked my ass off to get back to sport and snowboarding, now after my hardest journey so far, I get to represent Canada at the Olympics again. . It wasn't an easy journey, I'm grateful to be back. I'm so proud to officially announce that I'll be headed to my fourth Olympics! 🙋❤️🏂. . Thank you for your encouraging words over the last four years, you helped me get back to the Olympics! 😘❤️🙌. . . #olympian #roadtopeyongchang #canadian #blondshavemorefun #🙋
Mercedes was also very fortunate to have access to several sports psychologists who helped her through her journey. Now, on the path to PyeongChang, she’s got her sparkle back. Thanks to funding through the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Bell, high performance athletes like Mercedes can get access to the mental health services they need.
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