She’s going back to the Olympic Games for the third time and this mogul skier says that experience gives her a leg up.

“Simply competing in Olympic Games gives you an advantage over other people. It’s an event unlike anything else and you cannot prepare for it unless you’ve experienced it. Learned that the hard way by getting third to last place in Torino in 2006,” Kearney said.

In Vancouver she found gold.

“Success or failure–and I’ve had it both ways. Life went on both times I had the failure. I picked myself up and life went on,” she said.

“And after winning a gold medal, I mean, the next morning, you still had all the same problems you had the day before. So just keeping that in mind is maybe a way of taking off some of the pressure,” Kearney added.

Hannah has traveled the world to compete, but she calls New England home.

“I am from Norwich, Vt., I went to Hanover High School, I’m a freshman at Dartmouth College. I grew up skiing at Waterville Valley, so I’m a born and raised New Englander.”

She also plans on never leaving if she can help it.

“I’m the only athlete on the U.S. mogul team that hasn’t moved west, so if I make it through my ski career without going west, I’d say I’m going to stay in New England for the rest of my life.”

She said she would never have made it without mom and dad.

“My family is responsible for my career. My mother signed up for the sport of freestyle skiing with me when I was seven or eight years old. I was too shy to sign up by myself so she joined with me and we learned about freestyle skiing together,” she remembered.

Mom said she is always supportive, but never forces it.

“You just want them to do their best and be happy, you know, that’s what it’s all about,” said Jill Kearney.

What Hannah loves is moguls, an event that’s really cool to watch.

“I do like to think my sport is particularly impressive, seeing how fast my knees are moving up and down and pumping,” Kearney said.

“I like that there’s an acrobative element to it–back flips and maneuvers off of a jump as well as power and speed and agility so it’s endlessly satisfying to ski a good mogul run.

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