Hannah Kearney is a freestyle skiing athlete competing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

When Hannah Kearney won moguls gold in her world championship debut at the 2005 Worlds in Ruka, Finland, she looked like a legitimate threat for gold at the 2006 Torino Games. But her Olympic debut ended with a disappointing 22nd-place finish, after which Kearney had to recover from a torn ACL and a concussion in the years that followed. Fully recovered in 2008-09, she won the first moguls World Cup title of her career, reestablishing herself as a gold medal threat for Vancouver.

In February 2007, Kearney tore her ACL during training and missed the remainder of the 2006-07 season, including the 2007 World Championships. But she actually came to see a beneficial side to the injury. "I was feeling slightly burnt out on the lifestyle, living out of a suitcase," Kearney says. "And so, when I tore my ACL, it actually became the most refreshing break I could have asked for." Following surgery, Kearney lived at home for several months, and returned refreshed. "I came back just with a better attitude, and stronger than I've ever been." She was slowed for a significant part of the 2007-08 season while recovering from a concussion but assesses the 2008-09 campaign as the most successful she has ever had.

Prior to becoming a world champion, Kearney was a multi-sport star athlete at Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire. As a sophomore, she helped lead her teams to state soccer and track championships, then won two gold medals at the Junior World Championships (moguls and dual moguls). A year later, she won another state title in soccer and two more gold medals at the Junior World Championships. She graduated from Hanover High School in January 2004, and won her first World Cup moguls competition on Feb. 22, 2004 in Naeba, Japan, four days before her 18th birthday. Kearney was also a forerunner on the Olympic moguls course at Deer Valley during the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

"I grew up on—it wouldn't be called a farm," Kearney recalls, "but we had bunnies, and we had chickens, and we had a goat, and I grew up riding horses. We had a dog and a cat. So I've always been surrounded by animals, and I think they're great. They don't judge you. They don't talk back to you." While recovering from her knee injury, Kearney acquired a Rhodesian Ridgeback from an elderly woman who was unable to care for the dog anymore. "She's been the best thing that has happened to me," Kearney says. "I absolutely adore her and miss her every day when I'm gone."

"I wouldn't necessarily consider knitting a passion, more than it is a hobby," Kearney says. "We have so much downtime on the road and do a lot of traveling. And it relaxes me, and I always travel with knitting. Whether it be on the plane, to kill a 14-hour flight to Japan, or in the hotel room, in-between competition runs to calm your nerves." Kearney has donated some of the items she's knitted to charity, including sending the first sweater she ever made—which took her 78 hours to complete—to an orphanage in Russia. Kearney got the idea when a friend gave her a book called "Knitting for Peace," which includes patterns and different charity options. She chose the orphanage in Russia because it seemed the people there were most in need of warm clothes. "We got a note back saying they've received it," Kearney says, "which is a really cool feeling that it's doing something more useful than me wearing it on the ski hill."


How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 31 years old
Birthday: February 26, 1986
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 150 lbs.
Birthplace: Hanover, NH
Hometown: Norwich, VT
Current Residence: Norwich, VT

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