Meryl Davis: Finding New Purpose After Life as an Olympian

“O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,” I mouth the words, watching the American flag being raised over the Olympic Park. It’s February in southern Russia but the evening’s cool rain feels unexpectedly welcome. It’s enchanting. What’s more, it is grounding me in the moment. I close my eyes. Remember. The small drops of water give tangibility to the night. Something I can touch. Something to distinguish this night from all other nights. To distinguish it from a dream. “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

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Olympic Gold Medalist Meryl Davis on Life After Competition

Meryl Davis

When Meryl Davis and partner Charlie White retired from competition after scoring the U.S. its first ice dancing gold medal in 2014, she thought her life would slow down.

“To be honest, I think the opposite might be true,” Davis says.

While she does allow herself the luxury of a lazy morning, Davis and White continue to travel around the country to perform their routines for awestruck audiences. Parade recently chatted with Davis about what she thought of the 2018 Winter Games, how her life has changed since retiring and what she’s setting her sights on next.

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Olympic Ice Dancer Meryl Davis: I Eat What My Body Needs (and That Includes Red Meat, Carbs and Chocolate!)

Colgate In Ice

BRITTANY EVANS

Meryl Davis has a unique perspective when it comes to fueling her body.

The 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning ice dancer (and Dancing with the Stars champ with Maksim Chmerkovskiy) says no lifestyle should be one-size-fits-all. “It’s interesting as an athlete to see headlines like ‘Try This Diet’ or ‘Do This Workout.’ I think it’s better to tailor your diet or workout to your particular body’s needs, rather than trying to fit into something that’s ready-made,” she tells PEOPLE.

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