Full Name: Nicole
Do you Have Any Nickname(s): Niki, Nick, Nickster, Little Niki (because I’m only 4’11”), Shirley Temple (for my animated facial expressions & dance moves), Elastigirl, Chip (My dad calls me Chip from Beauty and the Beast, and often says, “Go to sleep Chip”, which is a line from the movie that the mother teapot says to Chip (her son, the little tea cup) when he asks about how Beauty and the Beast fell in love.
College Attended/Attending: I graduated from the University of California Irvine in March 2010. Go Anteaters…yeah!! Now that’s an intimidating animal!
What is/was Your Major There? Minor?: Psychology & Social Behavior and Drama/Acting
Hobbies: Spending time with my family and close friends, acting, dancing, choreography, cheerleading, singing, directing, writing, learning to play the guitar and piano, cooking, baking, photography, scrapbooking, boxing, kick boxing, triathlons, swimming, running, cycling, Bikram yoga, personal training, watching hockey and football, ALL water and snow sports, camping, TRAVELING, animals, tutoring and taking care of young children, raising money for charities by hosting benefits (Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk & International Student Volunteers). I love trying something new! I like to live on the edge and challenge myself. I recently did a tomato fight, went dogsledding, skydiving and backpacked through Costa Rica with my best friend Caitlin.
Favorite Food: My mom’s corn beef and cabbage, and the salted pretzels from Target! SUSHI, Italian & Mexican food
Favorite Book: Island of the Blue Dolphins. I remember trading off and reading it with my dad when I was eight, while watching the sunset from our balcony in La Jolla.
Favorite Movie: As Good As It Gets, Taking Lives, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Year One, Knocked Up, Step Brothers, P.S. I Love You, and Romeo and Juliet.
Favorite TV show: I don’t watch much TV, but I love to laugh so I would have to say “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. On days that I watch it, I feel like I don’t have to do my ab workouts anymore because they are so hilarious! ;)
Favorite Music: Rock n’ Roll, Oldies, Hip-Hop, R & B, Reggae, Pop, Acoustic, Folk, Rhythm, Soul, Nature sounds and Country!
Favorite Singer/Band: Elton John, Cat Stevens, The Beatles, The Eagles, The Doors, Jack Johnson, Dixie Chicks, Drake, T Pain, Usher, Adele, Ciara, Christina Aguilera and Nicki Minaj.
Favorite Athlete: Darren Sproles because my little brother plays just like him! Bethany Hamilton and Wayne Gretzky!
Favorite Superhero: Elastigirl from The Incredibles!
Website You Visit Everyday: Haha GROUPONS! I’m not your typical dinner and a movie girl. My most recent purchases include paddle boarding, archery, a Polo game, rock climbing, and a hot air balloon ride.
If you could have any power in the world, what would it be and why? Hands down, Time Travel! I am fascinated by history and would love to experience the world’s progress first hand and try my best to help prevent catastrophes, wars and terrorist acts. I would give anything to meet my grandpa Conrad, see how democracy was established (meet George Washington), see Martin Luther King’s speech, dinosaurs and of course go to Woodstock!
What is your most embarrassing moment? I have wanted a puppy my entire life! At my 21st birthday party, my little brother ran out to my car and shouted “Dad has a really big surprise for you Niki!!” He grabbed my arm and we ran inside to find a little brown puppy with a food and water dish, a leash and toys. Oblivious to everyone in the room, I immediately dropped all the bags in my hands, and burst into tears of happiness. I looked around to all my friends and family who had huge smiles on their faces. It was honestly the happiest moment of my entire life; I had wanted a dog for 21 years! My dad then said, “Niki, go pick her up.” I was frozen with nervous giggles and squeaks and took a few moments to finally gather myself to pick her up. As I got closer, smiles, tears and excitement turned into shock, disappointment and embarrassment when I realized this puppy was a stuffed animal. All my friends and family burst out into laughter, high fiving and pointing at me, I had never felt so gullible in my life. To this day, every year I wonder if I’ll ever get my puppy.
What is your most prized possession? My “Gram’s,” (my dad’s mom) denim hat, which has a sunflower on it, that she wore every day. After she passed, it was handed down to me, and I wore it every day for a year.
What is your favorite thing about hockey? I have always thought of hockey as the most physically demanding sport because players must be great skaters, know how to handle the stick and where to put the puck, and be able to take and give hits. I love how fast paced it is, and that the rules aren’t as limiting as other sports, which allows the players to get their aggression out on the ice through fights! I enjoy how physical it is, the unpredictable nature and the high intensity of the sport!
If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be and why? I feel that I have made my dream a reality. I am finally working in the entertainment industry and living in LA. My deepest passion since I can remember has been to make it big as a successful actress!
Which charitable organization is your favorite/the one you’re most involved in? Why? The 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk is the most gratifying charity event I have ever done because it hits close to home, and was the most challenging. Not only did I have to raise $2300 to participate but I also had to walk 60 miles in 3 days! I had a great time doing the fundraising through lemonade and bake sales and by organizing benefits and concerts. The walk itself was grueling, painful and tiring but there was no better feeling than when I crossed the finish line to greet thousands of thankful cancer survivors, and everyone who had supported me along the way.
What is something that no one would ever guess just by looking at you? I may be little but I’m one tough cookie! I know how to throw a punch. I started my own boxing business and have been a boxing instructor and personal trainer for the past 6 months.
What is the one product that you cannot live without? Music
What is your favorite place to go in Los Angeles? I have only been to LA a handful of times, and just recently moved here. So far my favorite place is Malibu beach. The sunsets there are absolutely breathtaking!
What is the best pick-up line you have ever received? “Hey cutie …so do they let you on the roller coasters at Six Flags? Cuz I’d like to take you there.”
Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what can you do? I am a rock star hula hooper! I can also roll my stomach like a belly dancer ;)
If you could spend the day with anyone you wanted, dead or alive, who would it be and why? My grandfather, Conrad. He was my dads’ dad and he passed before I was born. I would give anything to be able to embrace him, hear his voice, and one of his hilarious jokes.
What is one of your greatest accomplishments? I was born with Leg Calve Perthes Disease and was diagnosed when I was seven years old. Nine doctors told me my options were; immediate hip surgery/replacement, or to wear a Spica cast (which separates the hips and thighs with a bar in between) for at least 6 months of my life, making me immobile. My parents and I were determined to get at least one different opinion. After flying to Utah, the tenth doctor said I could try to do physical therapy, swim every day (to keep the muscle strong) and stay off my leg with crutches for three years to allow my femur bone to repair itself. He said I would have to be 100% dedicated and that even then there was no guarantee that my hip would heal properly. I did not let fear get in the way of my decision; instead I used it as my fuel to tackle the impossible with all odds against me. For three years I set my mind to getting better and did not let this disease, any bullying children, or negative thoughts hinder my recovery. Because I swam and did physical therapy everyday and refrained from walking, I was able to recover without surgery or having a brace. I now have a new appreciation and gratitude for life. I understand what it feels like to be disabled, and I know the type of commitment required to conquer any obstacle in life. This experience shaped me into the person that I am today and has made me stronger in every aspect of my life.
Name a phrase that you feel you live your life by? "The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart." ~ Helen Keller
What are some of your favorite Kings moments? I will never forget the first Kings game I ever saw, as it was my very first live hockey experience, the game was so intense and thrilling, I grew a new admiration and passion for the sport. I had never seen fans get that crazy and bang on glass, nor had I ever seen a puck travel at 80 mph. I went hone and ended up watching Wayne Gretzky videos on YouTube for hours and ever since that day I was a Kings fan. Of course watching the playoffs was captivating and exciting, but the best moment of all, was when the buzzer sounded, the crowd cheered, the confetti fell and the Los Angeles Kings were officially declared the Stanley Cup Champions!
Where is your favorite place to watch a Kings game when the team is on the road? I call it the F spot: in the comfort of my own home, including Finger Foods, Friends and non-Kings Fans, which equals Friendly Fights and Fun!
What is your favorite thing about being a Kings fan? Walking into any room or ice arena and holding my head high because I know that I am supporting an incredibly talented team and organization. Being a Kings fan is more than being a part of a community, it carries a sense of belonging, and we are one big family. I also love that Wayne Gretzky, “The Great One,” is part of our journey!
What was your favorite part of the 2012 Stanley Cup Championship run? I loved being on the edge of my seat throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs! The nail-biting overtime games were my favorite to cheer for! Richard’s hit on Burrows in Game 1 was insane! Kopitar’s OT goal in Game 1, and Carters OT goal in Game 2, were both very exciting goals and put one on the board for us for the next game! What an incredible run, but of course the best part was when the Kings were announced as Stanley Cup Champions, this was unforgettable!