Fresh off her first ever World Cup podium, we caught up with Prince George's Meryeta O'Dine to talk about her bronze medal, her start in snowboarding and her plans for the rest of the season.
Canada Snowboard: Walk us through what it was like standing at the start gate before your final run.
Meryeta O'Dine: Standing in the gate that day I think was the calmest I've ever been for any race I've ever been in. It was a little weird. I wasn't looking at my competitors for what they've accomplished or how far ahead of me they've been in the past, at that moment I felt equal. I felt confident in my ability on the track and I love getting in traffic so I wasn't worried for a fight. It was nice to feel calm and ready.
How old were you when you first strapped on a snowboard?
I was 11, almost turning 12 when I put on my first snowboard.
What mountain did you grow up riding?
I grew up riding Tabor Mountain, it still to this day is my favourite ski hill because it is home.
Do you have any Canadian athletes you look up to either within or outside the world of snowboardcross?
I don't think I could pin point it to once specific athlete. Everyone's gone through their own fight, recovery and personal triumph. Their attitude to others is what really sways my opinion. For me, the sportsmanship is a huge factor in anyone I idolize.
Are you looking forward to La Molina on March 5th? Looking to step up on that podium again?
I am excited for La Molina! Two years ago it was my first World Cup so I'm excited to go somewhere familiar and always excited to ride a new track. I definitely would love to be on the podium again, all I can do is race smart and hard and work my way up to the finals.
Are you planning on attending all 3 world cup events in March between Spain and Switzerland?
So far that is the plan yes.
After this podium performance, how are you feeling about the rest of the season and next season heading into the Olympic year?
I'm definitely excited about my upward swing in the World Cup tour, anything can happen for the rest of the season but it has me set in a good spot right now. I'm ecstatic about the Olympic year, spots are still open but it is one of my main goals to qualify for the Olympics. I think my main feeling about everything overall is just motivation and excitement.
Have you switched up any of your training habits for this season, knowing that it’s a qualifying year for the Olympics?
Last year after winning the NorAm Tour Title and being put on the National Team I knew things were good but I definitely had to step up my game to be in contention. I made a change in diet, training routines with a new trainer, coaches and thought process. Things were a little rough at the beginning of the year but now that I'm in the full swing of the season I'm loving it and it's all paying off.
What are your plans for this years off season?
I'm not too sure on the full plan yet! A lot of options are on the table currently. I do know it's going to consist of a lot of work and training getting ready for the next season.
Who’s your biggest supporter?
My biggest supporters are my family, definitely. My father knows how to let me calm down when my head is in a million different areas and appreciate myself, my accomplishments and my capabilities. My mother is my backbone; she pulls my chin up when I am struggling, organizes fundraisers, sacrifices so much of her time to make sure I can be fully focused wherever I am. Theres too many things to thank her and my family for.
Anything else you want your fans to know about you?
I think the thing I want them to know the most is how grateful I am for who's supported me. People I know and don't know, and the Community of Prince George. I love living there and I love being from there. Its home, and I'm always happy to come home.
If you want to support Meryeta and her season, check out her gofund me page: https://www.gofundme.com/modine
Interview by Jean Lavigne
Photos: Rene Brunner