Bahrke saves bronze for last |

Bahrke saves bronze for last

Shannon Bahrke, right, of the United States, celebrates her bronze medal win with teammate and gold medal winner Hannah Kearney at the women's moguls finals at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games on Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian, Jonathan Hayward)

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, B.C. – Shannon Bahrke said she felt like she was back


“I’m from Lake Tahoe,” she said, “and sometimes it’s been known to rain


And sometimes, Bahrke soars.

Saturday night was certainly one of them. Eight years after winning a silver

medal in Salt Lake City ‹ her adopted home ‹ Bahrke, a native of Tahoe City,

added another Olympic medal, this one bronze, as a final flourish to a

storied 12-year run on the U.S. Ski Team.

While Bahrke was the first to celebrate the United States’ first gold medal

of these Winter Games, wrapping her younger teammate Hannah Kearney in a

bear hug, then an American flag, after Kearney wrapped up the gold with a

brilliant final run, Bahrke’s accomplishment here was not to be overlooked.

With her final run score of 25.43, Bahrke became the first U.S. women’s

mogul skier to win multiple Olympic medals.

“It’s so cool,” she said. “A two-time Olympic medalist. That’s awesome.”

Certainly a great story to tell her kids some day.

After this competitive season, Bahrke plans on retiring, getting married to

her longtime boyfriend Matt Happe, helping to run the couple’s burgeoning

small business ‹ Silver Bean Coffee ‹ and being a mom.

“This is the last hurrah,” said Bahrke, who has plans to get married on

10/10/10. “What a way to finish it. Š I worked my butt off, I’ve been in the

gym and I’ve left no stone unturned coming into these Games. I had a rough

start to the year, and feel like I had to get ready mentally, and I did


When asked what she would tell her kids some day, Bahrke talked about hard

work and dedication, but also made a point of thanking all the people who

got her to Vancouver.

“All my friends and my family and my coaches and my PTs and, I mean

everybody,” she said. “Its’ just been absolutely amazing. I’m going to tell

them that if you want something you go for it and you’re going to need a

whole lot of people to get there.”

She also thanked Kearney, who flamed out in Turin, failing to make the

women’s final, for pushing her as a teammate.

“If I’m going to get bumped out by anybody, it’s going to be my teammate,”

she said. “She’s been skiing amazing for the last four years and really

deserves it. She’s been working her butt off, and it’s really good to see

her perform at the Olympics.”

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