- 13 Feb 2006
- Turin 2006
Hannah Teter - Snowboard Halfpipe
There were two brilliant halfpipe athletes at these Games. Most people had expected Shaun White to produce a brilliant display, and he didn't disappoint. But while his winning margin had been huge, there was an even clearer-cut winner in the women's halfpipe.
Hannah Teter was 19 years old in Turin but she had been born to board. The youngest of five children, she grew up in Vermont with four brothers who loved to snowboard on the nearby Okemo Mountain. Two of her brothers, Abe and Elijah, have represented the US in international snowboard competitions and her eldest brother, Amen, acts as agent for all the others.
Teter's parents were keen skiers, but were converted to snowboarding by their children. They supported their children's passion for the snow, and were rewarded when Hannah became world junior halfpipe champion in 2002, aged just 15.
From then on, her heart was set on a career in the sport. She moved straight on to world cup events and earned a fourth place finish in his first season, still aged 15. Her first victory came the following season. In 2004, she won a gold medal at the X-Games, before her progress was tempered by a serious knee injury.
The injury was still bothering her in the run-up to the 2006 Olympics, making her at times unsure that she would even be able to compete, or whether she would be able to perform to her full potential.
In the event, her injury didn't seem to hold her back. Teter's display in Turin was simply brilliant. The field was strong, with her rivals led by good friend Gretchen Bleiler and defending champion Kelly Clark. Bleiler had qualified impressively and appeared the favourite.
Just an hour before the final, Beliler and Teter crept away to a nearby mountain to snowboard down for the sheer fun. They then got back to the serious business of the final and finished first and second. But it was Teter who took gold.
Her first run was marked at 44.6, which would have been enough to secure victory on its own. But she pushed herself to put even more into the second run and was rewarded with a score of 46.4.
Teter remains a leading snowboarder, having won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.