Olympic Champion Hannah Kearney Transitions to Fan!

I just spent the weekend in Colorado at Beaver Creek and it was incredible, even though I did not ski! The memory of dragging my over-packed ski bag through airport check-in mazes still haunts me, so I made my way from Utah to Colorado with a minimal amount of luggage. I came to Beaver Creek to help launch the Marolt Athlete Endowment, a campaign that will help bridge the funding gap and allow U.S. Ski & Snowboard to maintain an elite coaching staff throughout the Olympic cycle, support development athletes who are the future of the U.S. Ski Team and fund the educational endeavors of current and alumni athletes. 

I told my story about balancing high school, and then Dartmouth, at opposite ends of my 13 years on the U.S. Ski Team. The audience was full of trustees who helped make my time on the U.S. Ski Team both rewarding and successful. These same people and this endowment will ensure I am able to graduate from college without student loans and for that I will forever be grateful. 

Funding is always an issue in a sport as expensive as skiing. The money from the Gold Pass program goes directly to athletic initiatives that help athletes pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. It was fun to reminisce about my time on the competition circuit when I gathered with my fellow New Englanders at the base of Killington to support the athletes in the FIS Women’s Alpine World Cup over the Thanksgiving weekend.  How fast the transition from athlete to fan can be!

Now I am really itching to ski. This has been the longest break I’ve had from skiing since I was a teenager. Someday, I will return to this grand mountain they call Beaver Creek and I will be armed with all of the proper equipment, including a shiny Gold Pass.  In the meantime, the Gold Pass will allow me to explore all of the mountains in my very own backyard. It really is the best ski pass that has ever existed.