Nicole Roundy competes during the Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games on March 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
By the time she walked off the snow at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Nicole Roundy had been through enough.
“I was mentally, physically and emotionally just kind of exhausted,” Roundy recalled. “It takes a lot out of you, and we make a lot of sacrifices. You sacrifice your personal life, hobbies that you had, goals that you had. It’s all consuming.”
In the two years prior to the 2018 Games, injuries had taken their toll on Roundy’s body.
“You can only kind of fight that for so long,” she said.
Thus ended a snowboarding career that included two Paralympic Games and three world championship bronze medals in the SB-LL1 classification. At PyeongChang, she placed fourth in banked slalom and fifth in snowboardcross, narrowly missing a medal.
“That’s the one thing that kind of everyone wants,” Roundy said. “Everything you do is for that. It’s one moment, and only three people end up on the podium. I got very close.”
Yet, Roundy had gone further than she expected. After the 2014 Sochi Games, she had contemplated retiring.
“I made a very, very conscious decision to keep going and to compete in South Korea,” Roundy said. “That decision came with the realization that my career wasn’t going to last forever.”
Roundy decided to enjoy the journey, no matter the outcome.
“I think that was kind of a turning point for me,” Roundy said. “And so at that point, each trip started to feel more personal for me.”
She credited fellow Team USA snowboarder Amy Purdy, her training partner and travel companion, with helping Roundy to continue.
“It made the experience so much more enjoyable having a friend there always to kind of talk to,” said Roundy, “and have somebody that understands what you’re trying to do and what you’re going through.”