“In La Molina I’m really looking forward to riding very strong and really pushing myself a little bit more every single day.”
US snowboarder Nicole Roundy is under no illusions about how difficult the competition will be at the 2015 IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships from Monday (23 February), but is hoping for a strong performance as the road to PyeongChang 2018 gets underway.
“I’ve got my work cut-out for me,” Roundy said. “I definitely don’t think that gold medal is going to come very easy. But I’ve done it before and I know that I can do it again.”
Roundy’s biggest competition will come in the form of French Sochi 2014 silver medallist Cecile Hernandez-Cervellon, who has a 100 per cent record of victories from World Cups in 2014-15.
However Roundy is optimistic that Hernandez-Cervellon can be beaten, even if she has finished second to the Frenchwoman twice in snowboard-cross head-to-head SB-LL1 this season.
“As riders we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. In a boardercross format I have almost beaten her twice, so yes I think I absolutely can beat her,” she said.
“Of course I want that gold medal, of course I do. But I also want to know that when I get that medal, it’s not just a one-time deal. I want to ride at that level and stay at the level.”
In order to prepare mentally for the 2014-15 season and after the excitement and ‘exhaustion’ of the sport’s debut at Sochi 2014, Roundy felt it was important to get back to her roots.
“I’m actually a park rider at heart,” Roundy who turned 29 on Saturday (14 February), said.
“That is what my focus has been this season, because I need that if I’m going to keep going. If I’m going to keep doing well I have to have that.”
Despite the lower-limb classifications being separated into two for this season, of which Roundy’s class includes athletes who are the most severely impaired, the US rider still likes to compare herself with legendary racers like Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee who competes in SB-LL2.
“When I’m looking at the results, I’m still grouping everyone together to see where I fall,” she said. “Because competing against someone who is technically more able-bodied than I am challenges me more and I want to know that I still have a chance in the overall scope of the picture and not just my category.
“That is where the bar is set and that’s where we all strive to be. I don’t know how close I can actually get to that but I’m going to keep pursuing it.”
Roundy is part of a strong US team that has been training hard for snowboard-cross head-to-head and banked slalom competitions between 23-28 February.
“In La Molina I’m really looking forward to riding very strong and really pushing myself a little bit more every single day,” Roundy said.
“I’ve been riding really well and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this season. I’m just trying to stay consistent and strong going into La Molina and just do my best.”
La Molina 2015 will feature around 40 riders from nearly 20 countries in the biggest gathering of snowboarders since Sochi 2014.
All competitions will be streamed live at LaMolina2015.com (viewers in the US can view at US Paralympics website) and live results will be available.
Competitions start with snowboard-cross on Tuesday (24 February) and continue on 28 February with banked slalom.