I’m Nicole

My friends call me Coco

I’m a cancer survivor, amputee, retired athlete, (*occasional) speaker, and a curious soul.

I enjoy deep connections, stories, and personal growth. I’m also into puppies, fruities, puzzles, protein pancakes, sleeping in, coding, building, creating, and writing. 

Nicole Roundy stands with custom Donek raceboard and world cup medals

I used to whisper “someday”

Until I realized the only thing holding me back was my own fear

I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, at the age of 8 and lost my right leg above the knee along with half of my hearing. (But, that’s not what this chapter is about. So we’ll circle back on that!)

After a 12-year athletic career on the US Paralympic Snowboarding Team, I retired in 2018, exhausted and disappointed. Competing on the world stage often requires complete dedication to the vision of winning, no matter the cost.

Real Talk? 

The invisible factors we value ultimately determine what constitutes our personal definition of winningFor me, the victory didn’t live with the podium itself, but with the dedication and resilience of reaching a single moment.

For many of us, the concept of winning is often intertwined with our sense of self-worth. 

Whether it be personal, professional, or even within broader societal expectations, winning is perceived as a validation of our capabilities and efforts. It becomes a tangible measure of our worth in the eyes of ourselves and others.

In reality, our worth is born in the relentless pursuit of our internal compass. It’s found in the quiet hours through the sting of doubt, the taste of failure, and the unshakeable knowledge that we have defied our own expectations. 

It is crucial to recognize that the definition of winning is created not by the awards and accolades, but by the fierce spirit of the individual who dared to chase their daydream. 

Oh, what I wish I could tell her!

How it started. 

On a summer day in July 1994, my parents drove me to the hospital for a bone biopsy. 

Upon regaining consciousness, I was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. In the following year, I underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy. (I joke that they erased my genetic code and rewrote it!

That same year, I experienced the loss of my right leg above the knee as well as half of my hearing. Like any individual touched by cancer, my life transformed abruptly to one focused on survival.

How it went.

In 2002, the Winter Olympic Games were hosted in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. Watching Kelly Clark boost out of the halfpipe was the first time I witnessed the freedom and passion of snowboarding. 

All I wanted was to experience the same freedom; and I was willing to let go of my fear and leap!

After two years of being told snowboarding as an amputee was “impossible,” I was given a chance to prove the industry wrong.  

Just four years later, I became the first above-knee amputee, male or female, to compete in adaptive snowboarding. My journey helped pave the way for the introduction of snowboarding to the Paralympic roster.

In my 12-year career, I had the incredible honor of representing the United States in the 2014 and 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. I was also named World Champion in 2016 and took home 24 World Cup medals.

And yet, a Paralympic medal remained elusive.

Stepping away from the spotlight and into the shadows, I rediscovered my own light.

Cue. The Phulé Project

Phulé is a Greek word that means clan or tribe. It can also mean kindred or captain. Each one of us plays a role in the tribe, painting the world with our own unique light. 

The Phulé Project is a vision that evolved throughout my own experiences of growth and transition.

It’s about re-discovering and understanding the light we bring to the world. It’s about daring to be authentic, having hard conversations, and sharing the wisdom, people, and tools that have helped us along the way.

If you’re new to the project, I believe in chasing the impossible and embracing the invisible. 

But first, we must let go of our fear. 

You have greatness within you waiting to be unleashed. Don’t let life hold you back from discovering it.

l can’t wait to tell you more.




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