Nicola Wealth’s partnership with CAN Fund #150Women aligns two organizations with a commitment to superior performance and a mission to inspire excellence. Becoming a CAN Fund #150Women recipient helps ease the financial burden for female athletes so they can focus on reaching their full potential.
CAN Fund #150Women aligns two organizations with a commitment to superior performance and a mission to inspire excellence. Becoming a CAN Fund #150Women recipient helps ease the financial burden for female athletes so they can focus on reaching their full potential.
Each week Nicola Wealth will be featuring a CAN Fund #150Women recipient as they prepare to represent Canada on the world stage. This week we spoke with Erin Mielzynski about being a Canadian athlete and the impact of being a CAN Fund #150Women recipient
Hometown: Guelph, ON
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Events: Slalom & Team
Erin’s journey to becoming an Olympian started before she was two years old, skiing on water and snow. Throughout her youth, she excelled more quickly as a waterskiing competitor winning silver at the Junior World Jump Water-Skiing Championships when she was just 16 years old. However, by age 18, Erin made the National Alpine Ski Team and with that came the difficult decision to “give up the water for the mountains” to pursue her Olympic dream. Erin has accomplished extraordinary success on the international stage throughout her career, ranking in the top 15 in the world for most of her career and achieving numerous top 5 and maximum ten results. She is a 3-time Olympian (2018, 2014, 2010), two-time World Cup Medalist, World Championship Silver Medalist, and in 2012 she skied to a historic breakthrough becoming the first Canadian Woman in 41 years to win a World Cup slalom race. Now a veteran on the team, the 2022 Games will mark Erin’s 4th consecutive Olympics, where she is poised for another strong performance.
What words of advice do you live by?
It is through the hardships, setbacks, and failures that we learn our greatest lessons, we become braver than we ever could have imagined, and those rough times become some of our greatest gifts. Setbacks are inevitable, so don’t be afraid to fail; try to face each disappointment with a challenger’s mindset and use those as steppingstones to change course, become stronger or learn essential lessons. This is true both in life and athletics.
How do you stay motivated on hard training days?
My very simple rule of thumb is simply finding a way to start. Once you start, it is challenging to stop. The motivation builds, the endorphins flow, and my body feels better and stronger; this is my secret to how hard I work on the days when I feel like doing nothing at all. I take the first step, and the first leads to the second and before long, I am running full force ahead. An object in motion stays in motion!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sport?
Stop and enjoy the little wins and moments. Celebrate yourself! When you’re developing, you’re striving for better, which is great, but you can sometimes forget to appreciate where you are because you’re looking ahead to what’s next. For me, it’s become really important to stop and enjoy the little moments because when you’re dealing with setbacks and injury, it’s important for your mental health that you celebrate the little accomplishments along the way, and less so on the destination goal. Trust the process.
What is your motto?
Progress, not perfection.
What does it mean to compete for Canada?
Canada is my home; the leaf feels like my logo, and the national anthem is my motto. I am proud to be Canadian and compete for Canada for many reasons- the “I’m sorry” floating in the wind, our vast and beautiful landscape, and our rich backgrounds. However, my community back home has strengthened me in my pursuit. They are with me from the moment I click into my skis until I reach for the finish line. This community consists of strangers I have never met, little girls running up and giving me hugs in the ski lodge and parents reaching out for guidance with their up-and-coming racers. While these individuals support me and lift me, I try to do the same, becoming this lovely Canadian community. It is a community that I know I can lean into when I have an issue; I know that they will lift me after good days or bad days, and I can be ultimately myself around.
How has being a CAN Fund #150Women recipient impacted your journey?
Being a CAN Fund #150Women recipient is significant because it takes away so much of the stress and pressure I feel to come up with my $30,000 team fees during the season. This is a huge weight lifted off my chest, and the feeling is pure freedom. However, more than that, it is so inspiring to be supported by women who believe in me, who show me that I can do it and to make me realize, “Why not me?” You have given me the time, freedom, and inspiration to compete with all of my heart and reach back to our next generation and lift them throughout my journey. Thank you a million times over!
Follow Erin’s journey @erinmielzynski on Instagram and Twitter
Follow CAN Fund#150Women @150Women on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Donate $150 or more to CAN Fund #150Women and support female athletes who compete for Canada.