Born January 27, 1987, in Belmont, VT; daughter of Jeff (a foreman) and Pat (a nurse) Teter.
Addresses: Contact —U.S. Olympic Committee, One Olympic Pl., Colorado Springs, CO 80909.
Had first snowboarding lesson at the age of eight; began competing in snowboarding competitions, 1998; won Junior World Championship in the women's halfpipe, 2002; became first woman to land a 900 in competition, 2002; turned pro during the 2002-03 season; named to the U.S. national team, 2003; won bronze in women's halfpipe at the Winter X Games, 2003; won four World Cup halfpipe events, 2003-04; won women's halfpipe competition, Winter X Games, 2004; named the U.S. Snow-board Overall Grand Prix women's halfpipe champion, 2004; won bronze in women's superpipe, World Snowboard Champions, 2005; Vans Cup Champion, 2005; won bronze in superpipe, Winter X Games, 2005; won women's halfpipe at the Chevy Grand Prix, 2005; won gold in women's halfpipe, Winter Olympics, 2006.
Awards: Female Rookie of the Year Award, Transworld Snowboarding, 2003; Competitor of the Year Award, North American Snowsports Journalist Association, 2004.
Teenage snowboarder Hannah Teter won Olympic Gold competing in the halfpipe in the 2006 Winter Games held in Turin, Italy. She had been competing in major snowboarding events for several years, primarily in halfpipe but also slopestyle, and was doing well on national and international levels. Teter was known for being risky and aggressive in her tricks as a snowboarder while also having fun. She told Jody Berger of the Rocky Mountain News, "That's my thing. I just go big."
Teter was born on January 27, 1987, at her parents' home in the small village of Belmont, Vermont. She was the only daughter and youngest child of Jeff and Pat Teter. Her parents were former flower children who had worked on a family farm in Missouri. A bad watermelon crop compelled the couple to move to Vermont, where they enjoyed skiing. Teter's father worked as a road foreman for the town of Mount Holly, Vermont, while her mother was an emergency room nurse.
Three of Teter's older brothers, Amen, Abe, and Elijah, got the family interested in snowboarding. (She also has another older brother named Josh who is mildly autistic, and only ski blades [ski blades are shorter than regular skiis].) Abe Teter received his first plastic snowboard when he was ten years. He and his older brother, Amen, would play with it every day in a halfpipe they built in the family's front yard. Abe Teter began competing in snowboard competitions when he was 14 years old. Elijah Teter also began competing as a snowboarder beginning in 1996.
Trying to keep up with her brothers, as she did with many activities, Teter began snowboarding herself at the age of eight with a lesson on a nearby mountain. She soon proved that she had snowboarding skills of her own and began competing in 1998. Teter participated in local events in Vermont like the Junior Jam of the U.S. Open in 1998. She soon moved into international events. By 2002, Teter was the Junior World Champion in the halfpipe. That same year, Teter became the first woman to ever land a 900 (rotating 900 degrees on the board in the air) in competition. Discussing the trajectory of her success, Teter told Justin Tejada of Sports Illustrated for Kids, "I just kept progressing, going from small contests to amateur contests, then all of a sudden— boom!—I was attending the big dawg contest circuit and doing extremely well."
During the 2002-03 snowboarding season, Teter turned professional, and, in 2003, made the U.S. national team for the first time. Teter was the youngest member of the U.S. national team at the time. She won medals at many major competitions beginning in 2003. That year, she won the Van Triple Crown in the halfpipe and finished second overall in slopestyle. Later that year, she won bronze in the halfpipe at the Winter X Games, after failing to complete a 900 in one of her runs, and won the halfpipe competition at U.S. Grand Prix events as well. Between 2003 and 2004, Teter won four World Cup halfpipe events, including one competition at Sapporo, Japan. The victory in Japan was an upset victory over the woman who won the 2002 Olympic gold in halfpipe, American Kelly Clark.
Teter was becoming recognized as one of the best snowboarders in the world, overtaking Clark by winning a number of events in 2004 and 2005. At the 2004 Winter X Games, Teter was the halfpipe champion. That same year, she was named the U.S. Snowboard Overall Grand Prix halfpipe champion. In 2004, Teter was named competitor of the year by the North American Snowsports Journalist Association. This marked the first time this award was presented to a snowboarder. Teter was also a finalist for the 2004 ESPY for best female action sport athlete. She garnered more high profile wins in 2005.
She won the bronze in superpipe at the World Snowboard Champions, and was the 2005 Vans Cup Champion. She also won bronze at the Winter X Games in the superpipe and won the Chevy Grand Prix in halfpipe as well.
As successful as Teter was, she remained focused as an athlete and continued to push herself to try new tricks. She told MountainZone.com, "There are so many things that lead an athlete to successfor some it's all about effort and commitment, for others it's all about having a drive to achieve, and I feel like for me it's all about living in the moment."
While competing all over the world, Teter often traveled with her brothers Abe and Elijah, who also competed at many of the same events. Both Abe and Elijah Teter were members of the U.S. National snowboarding team and pro boarders. Her eldest brother, Amen, was the manager and agent for his younger siblings. While her brothers did well in snowboarding, she ended up eclipsing them in terms of success, primarily because she was smaller (an advantage on the halfpipe) and more talented. In addition to support, her brothers helped by giving her toughness and a mental edge over her competitors. During her travels, Teter also continued to attend school. Teter went to a school that served snowboarders and other athletes, the Okemo Mountain School in Ludlow, Vermont. When she was away from home, she did her schoolwork online and earned all A's. College was a potential destination in her future.
Early in 2006, Teter was suffering from knee problems. She decided not to compete in the Winter X Games so she could focus on the Winter Olympics. Teter made the U.S. Olympic team, competing in the women's halfpipe. Her victory was sealed in her first run, when she scored 44.6. Teter did her second run anyway, and scored even higher with a score of 46.4. As she always did, she rode while wearing her iPod, listening to positive, fast music while she won her first Olympic gold medal.
During her off-season, Teter trained by skateboarding and wakeboarding. She also worked out on a Bowflex, with a punching bag, and did strength and agility training. Teter remained committed to improving her training and her tricks to ensure she stays at the top of her game. Tracy Anderson, associate editor of Future Snowboarding, told Carl T. Hall of the San Francisco Chronicle, "She's very happy-go-lucky, always full of energy, and she's known more than any other female rider for her really big airs. She's not afraid to just roll up the wall of the half-pipe and just let it go."
Associated Press State and Local Wire, March 12, 2003.
Boston Globe, January 16, 2003, p. E10; March 16, 2006, p. C12.
CosmoGirl!, February 2006, p. 63.
Denver Post, February 14, 2006, p. A1.
International Herald Tribune, February 15, 2006, p. 21.
Record (Bergen County, NJ), February 7, 2004, p. S1. Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), January 15, 2003, p. 20C; February 1, 2003, p. 13B.
San Francisco Chronicle, February 9, 2006, p. O6.
San Jose Mercury News, February 14, 2006.
Sports Illustrated for Kids, February 1, 2004, p. 56.
USA Today, January 28, 2005, p. 1C.
"Hannah Teter," NBCOlympics.com, http://www. nbcolympics.com/athletes/5058598/detail. html?qs=;t=11;tab=Bio (May 1, 2006).
"Hannah Teter," United States Olympic Committee, http://www.usoc.org/26_26735.htm (May 1, 2006).
"The Teter Legacy," MoutainZone.com, http:// snowboard.mountainzone.com/2005/teter/ (May 1, 2006).
— A. Petruso