For a brief moment Alice Merryweather was in the lead for the slalom portion of the Alpine Combined at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang.
She knew she wasn’t going to win but for her to cross the finish line and see her time up in the color green was as good as gold for her.
“Was I the fastest? Definitely not. Did I have the most fun? absolutely”, said Merryweather, a Hingham native.
Merryweather was living a dream come true in South Korea but it went by in a flash.
Being in front of the screaming fans, teammates, and her family is when she realized her Olympic dream had come true.
She didn’t get to spend much time with her family but knowing that they were there was all she needed to fuel her races.
“I didn’t get to spend much time with them outside of the finish area and a few post-training lunches,” Merryweather said. “Knowing that they were in the crowd every time I crossed the finish line made racing all the sweeter.”
Her older brother, Simon, was among the family cheering on Alice and their competitiveness on the slopes from when they were little is what sparked her Olympic dream.
“It’s taken a long time to sink in,” Simon Merryweather said on what it was like having his little sister in the Olympics. “For me, the best way to put it in perspective has been to think back on the days when we were just starting our ski racing careers. Reminding myself of where she started reinforces just what an accomplishment qualifying for the Olympics is.”
A fun fact about this sibling rivalry is that Alice has actually never officially beaten Simon in a race. However the two have not raced in about four years and Simon is certain he could not beat his Olympian sister now.
Simon graduated from Harvard and Alice turned down Harvard twice to get where she is. He may be an alumni of one of America’s most prestigious schools but he stands by his sister’s decision.
“She absolutely made the right decision,” said Simon on his sister’s big choice. “There are plenty of great things about Harvard but the bottom line is that she chose to pursue the thing she’s most passionate about. I’m very proud of her for showing the courage to make that decision, and it has obviously paid off for her in a big way.”
In Pyeonchang, Alice Merryweather said a big key was to not put too much pressure on herself. She did just that and enjoyed her time greatly.
She got to be a fan in a few situations. She cheered on her teammates in a couple of events and on one of their last nights in the Olympic village, she and a few teammates attended the men’s bronze medal hockey game between Canada and Czech Republic.
“It was the evening after my last event, and a few of my teammates and I had a lot of fun cheering on our fellow North Americans,” Alice said on attending the hockey game.
Alice’s dream come true may be a lifelong memory now but she doesn’t necessarily want it to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. She may start college soon but her ski focus is now on Beijing 2022.
“I think competing in Pyeongchang prepares me for Beijing in a couple of ways,” said Merryweather. “It has made me incredibly hungry to get back out on the Olympic stage. It was such an amazing experience, I want nothing more than to get to do it again. Secondly, the Olympics are vastly different from most races in the amount of media and security surrounding every event, and should I make the next Olympics in 2022, those presences might be a little less overwhelming. In reality, a lot can happen in four years, so I’m mostly just focusing on my own skiing and getting faster and faster on the World Cup circuit for the next few seasons. Once 2022 rolls around, we’ll see what happens.”
The sky is the limit for the young skier and a lot can happen in four years like she said. If she doesn’t end up getting back to the Olympic stage it’s okay, she and her family have had their golden moment of a lifetime.