Quantcast

Olympian Hannah Kearney returns with bittersweet emotions - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Olympian Hannah Kearney returns with bittersweet emotions

Posted: Updated:
NORWICH, Vt. -

"That has always been the goal, the Olympics. When I first saw the Olympics, I knew I wanted to be a part of them," Hannah Kearney said.

On a snowy day in Vermont, less than a week after returning from Sochi, Kearney has a brief moment to reflect on her most recent Winter Games.

"The blue signs all over Norwich that say 'Hannah, Norwich's Olympic pride' make it feel a little more special this time around," she said.

And the bronze medal she brought back with her from Russia is a constant reminder that Kearney is one of the best mogul skiers in the world.

"It is a beautiful souvenir," she said. "It represents how hard I fought in a day that was a challenging competition for me."

But bronze is not the spot on the podium that this Norwich native was expecting. After all, she was the reigning gold medalist and skiing at the top of her sport.

"My performance in the Olympics was really disappointing," she said. "It was a big mistake. It is hard, I know, for some people to be able to relate to the disappointment because I did walk away with a bronze medal, which is fabulous. It is not the bronze medal I am disappointed about. In fact, I think I am very lucky to have made a mistake and get a bronze medal."

A slight kick-out during a turn on her final run was all it took for her gold medal dreams to be dashed. A mistake that Kearney says she replays over and over in her head.

"I have the footage; I haven't rewatched it because I am just not ready," she said. "And it is hard when I have been a really strong consistent competitor for the last four years to make mistakes when it matters most is what I am devastated about."

She articulated her devastation in a tweet after the event: "Bronze feels a lot like a broken heart." Failed expectations and raw emotions wrapped up into one simple sentence.

"All you can do is represent yourself in the truest, most authentic sense possible. And I have no regrets for that reason. I feel that I represented myself and my hometown well. I know that there are going to be people that think my wording could have been different or I could have held back my emotions, but as I said, I don't have regrets. Everything that I said was exactly how I felt. I certainly don't mean to come across as ungrateful. Those are some of the most hurtful comments, being spoiled and ungrateful because... " Kearney stopped, becoming emotional.

A quick break in our interview, like the tweet, is insight into the heart behind the skier. Something in the age of social media that we live in on display for the world to see.

"With social media you get the good and the bad," Kearney said. "You get the outpouring of support that would have never reached you otherwise and you also get the critiques. So, my experience with Twitter, to which I am a new user, has been like, what am I doing? I am just sharing random parts of my life, almost for no reason. I'm just asking for people to either make fun of you or give you a thumbs-up. Why do I need that in my life? But then it is special moments when someone like Grace Potter tweets at you and it's like, this is really cool. We have flattened the world."

That is, of course, unless we are talking about the bumpy terrain of the mogul course. And while this skier says she was hoping for different colored hardware to put around her neck, bronze is still hard to beat.

"It represents how proud I am to get a medal for the United States of America," Kearney said.

And if you think Kearney has time to savor that medal, think again. She leaves Tuesday for Japan, which begins five more World Cup events. Kearney says despite her third place showing in Sochi, she is still ranked first in the world and has a title to defend.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Police: Men used stolen cards on thousands of dollars in purchases

    Police: Men used stolen cards on thousands of dollars in purchases

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:48 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:48:46 GMT
    Police in Chittenden County have caught two men from Brooklyn who they say used stolen credit card numbers to buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff.
    Police in Chittenden County have caught two men from Brooklyn who they say used stolen credit card numbers to buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff.
  • Destination Recreation: Clark's Trading Post

    Destination Recreation: Clark's Trading Post

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:28 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:28:18 GMT
    Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire has attracted millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1928. While famous for its bear shows, it offers a whole lot more.
    Clark's Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire has attracted millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1928. While famous for its bear shows, it offers a whole lot more.

  • At Issue: Keeping up with kids' vaccinations

    At Issue: Keeping up with kids' vaccinations

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:21 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:21:43 GMT
    It's about time to send kids back to school, and if you're a parent, chances are you've gotten a note reminding you to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccinations.
    It's about time to send kids back to school, and if you're a parent, chances are you've gotten a note reminding you to make sure your kids are up to date on their vaccinations.
  • Teaching the notes of tango in Stowe

    Teaching the notes of tango in Stowe

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:13 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:13:32 GMT
     The hills of Stowe were alive this week with the sound of music -- Argentine Tango music. We sent Cat Viglienzoni to check it out.
     The hills of Stowe were alive this week with the sound of music -- Argentine Tango music. We sent Cat Viglienzoni to check it out.
  • Burglary suspects caught

    Burglary suspects caught

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:18 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:18:38 GMT
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
    Vermont State Police nabbed a pair of suspected burglars and believe they're linked to several other crimes.
  • Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:12:17 GMT
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
  • Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:09:17 GMT
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
  • Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:10:40 GMT
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.