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The War to Win in Women's Moguls

By , Roslyn Heights, NY
VANCOUVER—the American athlete, Hannah Kearney, received the gold medal in women’s Mogul Skiing at the 2010 Olympics. Canadian Jennifer Heil had been expected to win, and she would have received the first gold medal on Canadian soil. It came as a disappointment to Canada and a win for the United States.
Hannah Kearney accomplished two, if not more, things during her time at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Not only was she able to succeed in the Women’s Moguls skiing, but she also played the role of the underdog. Canada was expected to win the Moguls, but the underdog (Kearney) came in and swept the competition away from the Canadians and into the favor of the Americans. Kearney bounced back after her failure in 2006 and as a result, she was able to accomplish something that very few are able to do—win an Olympic gold medal.

Kearney, a resident of Vermont, has been incredibly successful in skiing prior to the 2010 Olympics. She has always been an athlete, and has received multiple awards. According to Usskiteam.com, Kearney has received awards such as the French World Cup, Junior World Cup Champion, a World Cup title, first place in the VISA Freestyle International and a bronze and the Japanese world championships. Although she was a decorated athlete, Kearney had a downfall in the 2006 Winter Olympics, in which she placed 26th and did not move past the qualifying rounds for Women’s Mogul Skiing.

At Vancouver, although Canadian Heil had been favored to win the Women’s Moguls, Kearney was distinctly better than Heil. The New York Times stated that Kearney surpassed Heil in all three categories of criteria (speed, air, and acrobatics) and that her run was almost perfect. In addition to her phenomenal performance, Kearney was able to complete two incredible jumps that are not easy to perfect. Of course, the gold medal for the United States was significant, as it was the first Olympic gold won by the Americans this year, but it was not as significant as the idea that Canada did not win its first gold medal on home soil, especially when a Canadian was favored to win. Canada was extremely depressed about this loss, but in a response to the feedback she was receiving from the Canadians, Kearney told the New York Times, “I’m sympathetic [to the Canadians], but I’m too filled with joy to worry about how people feel.”





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