Written on February 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm , by Samantha Shelton
Three-time Olympian Hannah Kearney has come a long way. Although she’s always been a phenomenal mogul skier, she’s faced plenty of adversity – the 2006 Winter Games come to mind pretty quickly, when Kearney placed 22nd out of 30 competitors. But rather than letting that defeat her, the Vermont native learned from her mistakes, and spent the last six years rising to the top of her game. So much so, in fact, that she snatched the gold in the 2010 Games, and was projected to repeat in this year’s Games. Unfortunately, a mistake on the course during the medal round dropped her out of contention for the top spot. But she still came away a winner: with head held high, Kearney stood on the podium claiming bronze for the U.S. After so many setbacks, we caught up with the champion (because winning a bronze is still pretty badass) to find out more about bouncing back, and whether or not retirement is in her near future.
Tell us about your Sochi experience? How do you feel coming away with a bronze medal?
Sochi has exceed my expectations. The mogul course was challenging, yet fun to ski. I knew I was capable of winning a gold medal again – I have made sacrifices, trained hard and made mogul skiing my life for the past four years. Although I am proud to be a two-time Olympic medalist, and grateful I got to compete in the Games for a third time, I am disappointed that I made a large mistake in my final run.
But bronze is still amazing! And you’ve come such a long way since the 2006 Olympics. How did you stay motivated amidst such discouragement?
I viewed every setback – injuries; losses – as an opportunity to become a stronger mental competitor. I believe that everything happens for a reason, so when I was sidelined from training and competitions, I tried to make the most of the break by adopting a dog, putting up a Christmas tree for the first time, and watching more of my brother’s hockey games.
Anything specific you can credit to your rise to success?
There have been many factors. Opportunity, supportive parents, a community that valued winter recreation, and coaches and friends who believed in me when I was very young. And a little bit of luck.
So…will we see you in the next Games potentially? Or are you thinking about retirement?
It’s hard to answer that when I feel as strong as ever and very motivated by the feeling that I can ski better than I demonstrated at Sochi.
What’s next for you, then?
After completing the World Cup season in Japan, Norway and France, I will be finishing my freshman year at Dartmouth in the spring!
OK, time to spill some of your success secrets. What’s on your pump-you-up playlist?
My workout playlist is a mix of contemporary pop and hip-hop, classic rock and some folk music.
A little bit of everything. What about food? Any that really fuel your fire?
I eat Bear Naked granola when I need a quick snack to give me energy! Plus, I love that the granola has ingredients that I can see and recognize on the label. I’ll mix it into a Chobani yogurt for a hearty, balanced, natural snack for pre- and post-workout.When I need to grab-and-go, I’ll use Bear Naked’s single serving packs – I keep them in my workout bag and in my car.
You’re working with Bear Naked on the #OneUpIt challenge. How do you plan to “One Up” your game post-Sochi?
I’m in the process of planning my One Upping strategy. I feel strong and motivated, so I am not ready to retire. I will train this summer to add a more difficult trick to my repertoire.
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Written on April 24, 2013 at 9:28 am , by Lauren Cardarelli
A lot has changed for skier Picabo Street since she took the Olympics by storm in the 1998 Super G. The gold medalist—who just last week was announced to be an analyst for Fox Sports’ Sochi 2014 Winter Games coverage—has transitioned to fit, working mommyhood by taking up a new taekwondo passion with her 9-year-old son and avoiding her kids’ leftovers at all costs. Read on to find out what she loves the most about her kick-ass routine, what she’s working on now and more.
- What was your favorite Olympic moment?
Surprisingly enough, my silver medal win in Lillehammer, because it was when I realized that I could do it and that I was Olympic caliber and that the gold was within my reach.
- Where do you keep you medals?
I rotate them around from safe place to safe place with lots of sharing in the meantime.
- How did you overcome the pressures of being such a young U.S. ski team member and then later on from your sponsors?
I always expected more from myself than anyone else did, so my pressure was greater, therefore easier to deal with. I looked at my coaches as partners and teammates and had more of a collaborative relationship with them, therefore, they were all a part of my victories, too.
- Was there one challenging moment in your past that really helped you to build a thick skin and to become the resilient spirit you are today?
Resiliency comes out of struggle usually and for me, mine was self-inflicted—showing up to U.S. Ski Team camp in 1990 out of shape and with a bad attitude. I realized then it would be up to me to get in shape, change my attitude and make my dreams come true. It was the door on the path to that dream closing in my face that forced me to be resilient.
- Any fitness-related goals you have your eye on now? What mantra helps you push through your workout?
Be a black belt in taekwondo. What I love about taekwondo is that I miss the workout, because I am too busy trying to kick and punch correctly! What gets me to the gym: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Once I’m at the gym: “Focus on what I have control over, anything else is just stress.”
Picabo has teamed up with Team USA sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance to announce the search for 2013’s “Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments,” simple acts of sportsmanship and selflessness that occur on youth sports fields. “It’s a great cause and one near and dear to my heart as a mother of four boys who love to play sports,” she said. To submit a moment, go to ResponsibleSports.com or tweet a nomination using #RSMoments.
More from FITNESS:
- Ice Skating Legend Kristi Yamaguchi Dishes on the Winter Olympics & DWTS
- Pro Tennis Star Vika Azarenka on Staying Positive and Keeping Workouts Fun
- Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney on Getting Back Into the Gym and Finally Being Impressed
Written on March 15, 2013 at 9:31 am , by Samantha Shelton
Anyone who knows anything about ice skating knows about Kristi Yamaguchi and her gold-medal victory at the 1992 Olympics. Since then, the figure skater has been actively involved in the sport, created a foundation that supports children’s education and inspiration, and won the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. Yep, it’s safe to call her a rock star.
These days, Yamaguchi’s joined Team Kellogg’s, where she’ll be mentoring athletes hoping to make the journey to Sochi in 2014. While some may think it’s a bit early to be chatting about the Winter Games, we think the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Catch up on what else Yamaguchi is up to, then get a head start on meeting the athletes she’s hoping to coach all the way to the Olympic podium. While all your friends are in the dark, you’ll be the fountain of knowledge they turn to. Look at you, smarty pants.
Tell me a bit about Team Kellogg’s. Whose faces can we expect to see?
I’m the co-captain of the team, along with Jim Craig, the goalie from the 1980 Miracle team. The other athletes are all Olympic hopefuls, who will probably be competing and representing Team USA in the Sochi Games next winter.
It really is. Team Kellogg’s is all about following these athletes as they start their journey for getting ready for Sochi. I mean, of course they’ve been getting ready for years, but now fans can follow along. Kellogg’s Facebook page will have video clips of their stories, training tips and nutrition advice straight from the pros.
That will definitely be fun. Any other fun features?
You can find out how these athletes got their start – who was the coach who first got them going, which people gave them inspiration and, of course, what breakfast does to fuel their start.
So are you and Jim mentors, then, as accomplished athletes yourself?
Yeah, in a sense. Jim and I have been there, we’ve experienced the Olympics and know what they’re going through. We hope to encourage them to keep dreaming big, and we want to be there to give whatever advice we can to help prepare them for what lies ahead.