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Meet Nicole

OVALHP Head Coach, Speed Skating

Tell us about your athletic background?

I was very active as a child. I took pleasure in trying new sports and I had a particularly strong interest in racing sports.

In my later adolescent years, I focused mostly on speed skating and track and field. I even won a few city and provincial track and field championships in the 200m, 400m and 800m distances. At the age of 16, I decided I wanted to pursue an athletic career in long track speed skating so I packed my bags and moved to Calgary!

How did speed skating enrich your life?

Speed skating impacted my life in so many positive aspects, including giving me the opportunity to live overseas while training and experience a different sport culture.

How did you get started coaching?

When I retired from skating, I was sort of at a loss at what I wanted to do next. It turned out to be an uncomfortable but necessary transition for me. I completed my BA in Political Science at the University of Calgary, but was working office jobs that I didn’t really enjoy. It was so different from my life as a full time athlete! When I saw this coaching opportunity at the Richmond Oval I thought “why not?”.  I want to give back to the sport and community that has given me so much! This is new to me so it’s very exciting –  I know I can bring a lot of new ideas to the High Performance Program that can build off the amazing work already done by the previous Head Speed Skating Coach, David Morrison.

What is your dream team/athlete to coach? 

The Mighty Ducks! haha.

Honestly, anyone who can come to practice with a smile on their face and a willingness to work hard. This pretty much explains the entire HP Speed Skating group I work with, so I guess you could say I’m already living the dream with my dream team! ?

Coach or mentor you look up to?

My mentor, Jacques Thibault. Jacques is a “yes!” person. I learned a lot about skating technique, training and racing through him. He taught and encouraged me to bring out my fiery, competitive side on ice, he taught me the value of opening myself up to different ways of training and coaching and he believed in me when during times I wasn’t sure I believe in myself! I’ll be forever grateful for his contribution to my development as a skater (and a person!).  I hope to be that type of coach for my athletes.

What do you enjoy doing outside of coaching?

I was going to say “I enjoy cooking” but I actually just enjoy eating whatever has been cooked for me…. is that something I can say, “I enjoy eating”?

Jokes aside, I enjoy reading, volunteering, going on long bike rides, discovering great coffee places (I’m very picky about my coffee) and I really love going to social dances where I can practice my salsa dancing (I have a Chilean background)!