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Women's snowboarding team takes home two half-pipe medals

Hannah Teter
United States snowboarder Hannah Teter poses with her gold medal after the medal ceremony for the Women's Halfpipe Snowboard event at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 13, 2006.

Read more about the following snowboarders:

  • Shaun White
  • Gretchen Bleiler

  • (Photo: Greg Baker/AP Wide World)
    Monday, February 13—Americans invented snowboarding, and so far they rule the competition, both at the X games and at the Winters. In women's half pipe competition today, Hannah Teter won the gold, while Gretchen Bleiler took home the silver.

    "U.S.A. representing," Bleiler said. "We're doing a good job. That's about all I can say."

    The bronze went to Kjersti Buaas of Norway.

    All four members of the U.S. team qualified for the half pipe finals, including Kelly Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion, and 16-year-old Elena Hight, the youngest Olympic athlete at the games. Clark stumbled after a landing and placed fourth.

    Clark may not have won a medal, but her performance set a new level of excellence in the sport. She rode her board twice as high as any competitor.

    The next snowboarding event is set for Thursday, February 16, when the men compete in Snowboard Cross (SBX). The women will meet for SBX on Friday, February 17.

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    Hannah Teter
    Hannah Teter with Scholastic Kid Reporters Kyle Eichleberger (left) and Natalie Honodel.
    (Photo: Suzanne Freeman )
    Living it Large
    U.S. Snowboarding champ Hannah Teeter talks to Scholastic Kids Reporters about her "living the lifestyle"
    By Natalie Honodel and Kyle Eichleberger
    Scholastic Kids Press Corps

    Hannah Teter may be one of the most laid-back Olympians ever. It seems to go with her sport. When the 18-year-old won gold for her half-pipe performance at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, on February 13, she was asked how being an Olympic champion will change her life.

    "Maybe I'll get to buy a boat,"she said. "I'm still going to be laid back. I'm still going to be grateful."

    Teeter recently sat down with the Scholastic Kids Press Corps to talk about her sport.

    Q: How did you first get started in snowboarding?
    Hannah: Well, I have four older brothers and two of them were really into snowboarding and one of my older brothers was like really into building a park in the backyard. I would just watch him and I got interested and then I went and tried it out and fell in love with it.

    Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    Hannah: I don't know. I just love having the ability to travel and meet new people and just live the lifestyle.

    Q: Does your traveling ever take away from other things you want to do?
    Hannah: Nope, I'm pretty much living it large. Everything's a bonus right now.

    Q: How are Olympic events different from other competitions?
    Hannah: They have a lot more media for sure. Everyone's there watching and everyone gets to see you from around the world, so it's pretty much the only contest that has that atmosphere.

    Q: Do you have a favorite Olympic moment?
    Hannah: I foreran the 2002 Olympics, the last Olympics, and I just remember that there were just so many people and I was like, man, I want to be in this event. But I was just a little forerunner just hanging out and I knew I wanted to go to the next one.

    Q: What's a forerunner?
    Hannah: We pretty much just hang out with all the riders and we go first before the contest even starts and they'll go, "Here come the forerunners,"and they don't judge you or anything, you're just showing off, I guess.

    Q: Did you have a favorite Olympian or snowboarder growing up?
    Hannah: I always looked up to my brothers in everything and not even just in snowboarding, but on the whole athletic side of stuff. But I like watching Shaun White. He's pretty good.

    Q: What's your favorite US mountain to snowboard on?
    Hannah: I really like going to Mammoth Mountain [in California] just because it's so big and there are so many people there you just get to hang out and ride and take long runs.

    Q: Do you have any other interests besides snowboarding?
    Hannah: I like everything. I have a six-foot skate ramp in my yard. I like to skateboard and bounce on the trampoline and swim and do all that fun stuff.

    Q: Do you think your skateboarding helps you with snowboarding?
    Hannah: I think they relate a lot with the whole pumping aspect. You pump the side of the wall, and you pump the ramp, the pipe, so they are pretty much the two closest things to each other.

    Q:Do you have a favorite jump or anything that you like to do?
    Hannah: I like the U-ditch. It's pretty fun. And power riding, that's actually more fun.

    Q: Will you train differently for these Olympics than you've done before?
    Hannah: It has kind of a different mentality to it. In the years past it was just I was going to ride and have fun. But now the Olympics are coming up and it kind of pushes me more.

    Q: What do you consider an Olympian to be?
    Hannah: I guess an Olympian is just someone who is one of a kind. They've got the focus, the commitment, the drive. They just have all the elements.

    Q: How do you overcome your challenges?
    Hannah: I try to stay positive with everything. If something gets hard, you just have to look at it in a good way.

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    Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.