A Peek Behind the Starting Line with 2x Olympic Medalist, Meryeta O'Dine
Canadian Snowboarder, 2 x Olympic Bronze Medalist and Stoko Athlete—Meryeta O’Dine Shares her Post-Olympic Reflections.
For professional Canadian snowboard cross athlete and Stoko ambassador, Meryeta O’Dine, mindset is everything. Heading into the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games with a checkered injury history—including a few concussions and ruptured ligaments—O’Dine did everything in her power to quiet her mind and keep her momentum moving forward.
After her return from Beijing, O’Dine stopped by the Stoko HQ and caught us up on all things body and mind, post-Olympic Games.
You just won TWO bronze medals in Beijing. How and what are you feeling?
My body is tired after five long months on the road, but overall I’m feeling insanely proud. I’m super grateful for the experiences I’ve been able to have this year and I truly can’t wait to see what’s coming up next.
Can you share a bit about the lead-up to the Games, both physically and mentally?
Oouff, the ramp-up period before the games was a lot. I left Canada for training on October 5, 2021, and began working really closely with my coach and sports psychologist to determine my Olympic game plan. For me, this looked like maintaining my strength throughout the year, and then a heavy push physically to get into tip-top shape for the season kick-off. I made sure to start each World Cup with a fresh mindset, and did everything in my power to make sure my body was feeling strong as well.
Given your injury history, how were you feeling once you actually arrived in Beijing?
I do the best I can every day to keep my injuries behind me. This means taking the time to stretch, mobilize and activate my body every day—when it comes to injury prevention, you have to be proactive, not reactive. Once I get to the start gate, injuries are the last thing on my mind.
How did your K1s impact your preparation and performance on the big day(s)?
Insanely. They helped my legs recover after full training days, and definitely took some of the load and strain off my muscles. On those days when your best performance is absolutely crucial, my K1s helped keep my legs feeling snappy and agile for the entire day. The days when my legs take numerous impacts on the course, the K1s keep them feeling strong and ready for what’s next.
Tell us about your approach to injury prevention.
In snowboard cross, injury comes when you least expect it. With that in mind, the best way to prevent injury is to keep your body as strong and healthy as possible. So when you fall hard (and you will), your body is sturdy enough to handle the impact without tearing or breaking.
Being a world-class athlete surrounded by world-class athletes must be a unique feeling. Can you tell us about your experience in the Athletes Village and the Games in general?
The Athletes Village is definitely something else. Amidst all the COVID-chaos, China did an incredible job at making sure the Games felt like the Games. My favourite part was the Team Canada lounge where we would all gather, hang out and watch the competitions. It’s a really cool opportunity to meet athletes who inspire you and relax with friends you haven’t seen in years.
What does movement mean to you and why is it important?
To me, movement means progress. If you’re able to move in any way, it means you're progressing in your health, mind, career and ultimately anything else you want in your life.
How are you celebrating your medals?
After the Olympics, I was lucky enough to spend an incredible week at home, celebrating my medals with friends and family. My hometown—Prince George—put on an amazing event in my honour that really highlighted the impact of my achievements in my community. But it was short-lived—still two more World Cups left in this season!
Let’s raise a glass to O’Dine, and every other athlete that competed at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. What an incredible feat of stoicism, limit-pushing and grit. Follow us @stokodesigns to keep tabs on other athletic journeys like this one.