What would you say
to 16 year old you?
by Meryl Davis
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
My name is Meryl Davis and I’m the 2014 Olympic Ice Dance Champion along with my skating partner of 21 years, Charlie White. I grew-up in Michigan and began skating on a frozen lake near my childhood home. I’ve always been passionate about traveling and learning more the way in which other people live. As such, I’m currently finishing up my degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Michigan.
What is one thing no one really knows about you?
When I was training for the Olympics, one of my major stress relievers was researching dog breeds and looking at photos and videos of puppies. After many years of “waiting for the right time,” my fiancee and I finally adopted our own puppy, Bilbo, in the spring of 2017. She’s a miniature sheepadoodle!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Canadian figure skating champion, Patrick Chan once sent me a text before a competition that read, “be memorable.” While I always appreciate any well wishes encouraging luck or enjoyment, I found that simple message of his to be so poignant.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
You are enough.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Of course! Self doubt has always been one of my greatest weaknesses. I’m fortunate to have an amazing support system of loving friends and family who encourage me to believe in myself.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
“Life is tough, my darling but so are you.” A simple quote I stumbled upon recently that really hit home. Life is never perfect. Of course, we each face our own challenges. With belief in one’s self and a great team around her, I believe every woman can persevere.
What do you love most about yourself?
One of the things my fiancee and I have in common is that we’re not afraid to embrace our inner children. Yes, maturity, responsibility and professionalism are important qualities but do not necessitate the loss of childhood enthusiasm, curiosity and what makes life so magical!
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
School was extremely challenging for me growing up. I struggled with dyslexia and had to spend a lot of time finding ways of learning and studying that worked for me. My mom, now retired, was a special education teacher who truly understood the struggles of a learning disability. Her support and understanding has been instrumental in my ability to persevere. More than anything, my mom taught me that being different doesn’t lessen a person’s value.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
Everyone really does have to pave his or her own path. In my opinion, happiness is the only true form of success and no one can find that for you. Who you are, what you want… it’s all got to be from the inside out.
Why do you love to travel?
I think it’s such a shame to limit our experiences geographically. I find that I learn so much about myself and so much about what it means to be human when I see a variety of ways in which people live.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from hearing other people’s stories. Whether chatting with friends, watching a great film or even on social media, hearing about the ways in which other people live, face challenges and overcome obstacles inspires me to no end. I also believe that sharing one’s own story is a great way to inspire others. When we open up about our challenges, our weaknesses and fears, we can work together, encourage one another and draw strength from our honesty and open communication.
More About Meryl Davis
Meryl Davis is an American Ice Dancer. With partner Charlie White, she is the 2014 Olympic champion, the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, a two-time World champion, five-time Grand Prix Final champion, three-time Four Continents champion and six-time U.S. national champion.