| Date of Birth:
December 5, 1983
Place of Birth: Whistler, BC
Residence: Whistler, BC
Years on National Team:
Always a gifted athlete, Mercedes Nicoll's first taste of winter sports was figure skating and skiing. However, by the time she was an 11-year-old living in Whistler, BC, she virtually had no choice but to take up snowboarding. The new sport was an immediate fit.
With a competitive, yet supportive, snowboarding community in Whistler present to help nurture her immense talent, it wasn't long before Nicoll was moving up the national halfpipe racing rankings.
Unlike most young snowboarders who cut their teeth on the Nor-Am Cup circuit, Nicoll jumped directly into the fire when she went pro in 2003, racing to a 30th-place finish in the halfpipe at her first World Cup race. By 2005, she was considered one of the best halfpipe competitors in the world, picking up three World Cup podium finishes, including a silver at Lake Placid, NY.
Enjoying solid genes has also played a bit of a role in Nicoll's success. Her father, John Nicoll, was a top gun on the British Alpine team during the 1960's before a broken leg ended his career; while his sister Elspeth, Mercedes' aunt, was a top ranked British skier before an injury also derailed her career. Moreover, two cousins have come close to the Olympics as well, one in luge and the other as an equestrian, but their dreams didn't come to fruition as well.
During the 2005-06 season, Nicoll has already picked up another bronze and two fifth-place finishes. If she continues to peak, Turin may finally bring redemption to the Nicoll family as Mercedes looks to end the Games with a trip up the podium.
2006 Snowboarding Coverage