Skateboarder Nicole Hause knows how to grind. Last month the 19 year old X Games star competed against 26 other elite female athletes at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. 60 seats were reserved by her fans for the X Games’ skateboard park final, as the teen has developed an impressive following. She’s been a major podium presence at several recent events for the sport including Vert Attack, Exposure and the Girls Combi Pool Classic.

Despite rising to the top at a young age, her success didn’t happen overnight – she had to “earn hers”.

In Nicole’s case, when one door closed, she built a new one. The closure of her town’s skatepark back in 2008 didn’t douse the fire of her newfound passion for skateboarding; instead, it drove the then 10 year old Nicole to convince her parents to convert the family barn into a personal skatepark by building an indoor skate ramp.

Nicole’s father Jeff looks back fondly on their conversation, recalling how he told her, “Listen kid, you’re going to help me put every screw in this ramp, and you’re going to wear all your safety gear”. Nicole kept her promises. The barn became home to her many breakthroughs and wipeouts as she put in the hours to develop her skills and feed her passion. “The barn is where Nicole would practice, day or night, summer or winter”, stated her mother Missy.

As Nicole’s skills and passion for skateboarding grew, so did her skate ramp, which quickly became a full 14 feet high and 48 feet long. Skating was no longer just a hobby, as her ambition and competitive spirit had fueled her passion into a career. Nicole has been described as a “vicious, hard-charging skater” with a “ go-for-it attitude”. In her own words, Nicole describes skateboarding by saying “this is like my art, so it’s just what I love to do”.

 But it’s not only her love for the sport and competitive nature that drive her to succeed. Nicole strives to be a role model. She states, “My goal is to be a recognized nationally and internationally…so that I can be an inspiration to other girls in general and also make a difference in others’ lives”.

Like any strong leader or role model, Nicole knows how to stay focused and motivated when faced with disappointment. This month’s X Games ended with Nicole in 4th place, landing just 2 points away from a podium finish. Upon hearing the results of her event Nicole stated “Man, it hurts. It hurts, but it’s OK. I’m going to move on and see what happens next. I should be here next year,”. This kind of attitude is trademark for Nicole. Her father Jeff remarked,  “I’m more proud of her character than anything. I’m proud of the way she handles her victories and losses. She just came off first place in Sweden a couple months back and her attitude never really changes.”

Moving forward, Nicole remains determined to succeed. “I have a lot of heart and ambition along with the will to work hard to accomplish my goals” says Nicole, and this 19 year old athlete has proved to be a woman of her word.

She has shown perseverance and competitiveness, as her love for the sport has fueled her desire to compete against the best, and strive to inspire others.

Nicole has tapped into the vein of excellence running deep in her core; she has immersed herself in the fire of experience, and every day she is building the resolve to see her dreams through. Nicole Hause is 3rdNut.