Ever wonder what your favourite mountain athletes are listening to while they train, compete or just hang out? Pique caught up with some top skiers and snowboarders as they prepare for the season to chat about what's on their playlist. First up: pro snowboarder, halfpipe queen and Olympian, Mercedes Nicoll.
Pique: Do you listen to different stuff when you're training versus competing?
Mercedes Nicoll: I've tried riding with music in competition. I've tried riding without. I haven't figured out which is better, but for contests I usually have a fully set playlist, so I know what songs are coming up. When I'm training it's just whatever. I don't have to stress about it.
Pique: Are there any issues with listening to music and competing?
Nicoll: When I'm competing I don't even hear my music. You don't even hear the crowd, you're so in the zone. It's more for before trying to get in the zone and relax.
Pique: How do you make a playlist?
Nicoll: At the Olympics I think I had "Single Ladies" (by Beyonce) on repeat. I like top 40. Anything that gets me going and gets me happy.
Pique: Competitive runners typically don't listen to music while racing because it can change their pace so dramatically. Is there anything similar for snowboarding?
Nicoll: I always have my ear buds wrapped around the back of my ear so that they can hang so that I can still hear everything. It's more background music.
Pique: What role does music play for you then if it's in the background?
Nicoll: If I hear a good song come on, I'll have it on or if I want to get in the zone and not have to stress and think about my next run it totally helps in that sense. It kind of gets me in my own little zone.
Pique: What do you use to listen to music?
Nicoll: If I'm just going out riding with my friends I'll plug in my iPhone. But if I'm in a contest I still use an old school shuffle because I can press it through my coat and change the song.
Pique: Does music play a psychological role when you're competing?
Nicoll: Definitely because it gets you in your own zone. You don't have to be stressing at that moment about it. It just gives you a second to get away and relax, in a sense. At the same time you can have rev up music to get you going. It plays a lot of roles, actually.
Pique: Are there any albums or songs that defined the last season for you?
Nicoll: I listened to the whole Lana Del Rey CD over and over. At the world championships that was my go-to chillout on the bus album. We were in Norway and we had kind of a long bus ride to get to the hill and I didn't want to get too excited before I got there, so it was just chillout on the bus music.
Pique: Best musical discovery this year?
Nicoll: I'm such a nerd. I go online to iTunes and I look at the Top 40, but I also like all the indie stuff too. I look to see what's coming up in there.
Mercedes' playlist for the hill
1. "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
2. "Dancing On My Own" by Robyn
3. "Next to Me" by Emeli Sande
4. "Diamonds" by Rihanna
5. "Float" by Ko Ko
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