She's already an Olympic champion, and now she's coming back for more. Team USA's Hannah Kearney, a 27-year-old mogul skier, has been in the game for a long time: At the age of 19, Kearney had won nearly every major title going. After a shaky performance at the 2006 Winter Games where she came 22nd, Kearney had to win the 2009 Steamboat race to secure a place on the U.S. team for Vancouver 2010. There, she took the gold medal.
Kearney then whipped up a winning streak between 2011 and 2012, where she notched 16 consecutive victories, eclipsing alpine legend Ingemar Stenmark’s record for the longest FIS World Cup win streak in all disciplines. Despite suffering a severe knee injury, and later a punctured lung and broken ribs from a crash in October 2012, she recovered in time to win her second World Championships gold medal in mogul skiing the same year.
So how is she preparing for Sochi? "Two days before a competition, you get to ski on the course on which you're due to compete, for about two hours each day," Kearney has said. "On the actual competition days, you get about three or four hours of physical exertion—between an hour-long warm-up, recovery in-between runs, the training runs and then the runs themselves. In the run-up to a big competition, I train six days a week, but multiple times a day. I go to the gym in the morning to warm up, and then I go to the mountain and train. Then I come home and go to the gym again to recover."
If you're not exhausted just reading that, then you'll appreciate just how on top of her game Kearney actually is. Certainly, she's ready for a shot at Sochi.