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on the radar

2.14.06 | American women took two of the six medals the US had won by late Monday – both in snowboarding. Hannah Teter, 19, took the gold while 24 year old team-mate Gretchen Bleiler won the silver in what were both breathtaking performances. They had hoped for a sweep, but although 4th ranked Kelly Clark didn’t win a medal, sports commentators declared her performance groundbreaking because of the height she achieved and the moves she chose.

First-time competitor Teter comes from a Vermont family of 5 kids and started snowboarding at 8. This win was made even more remarkable by her recurring, and painful, knee problems. If you were watching, you might have wondered if those were iPod cords around her neck. They were – she listens to music as she boards.

Her team-mate Gretchen Bleiler was born in Ohio but after moving to Aspen at 10 and then to Snowmass, switched from skiing to snowboarding at 14. She’s become quite a role model, and as she told NBC “[Because] those Olympians that I used to watch on TV, those are the people that inspired me to work my butt off and get this life. And if I can do that for another little girl, that would be amazing. Because of this life, I've done so many amazing things, traveling, and it's just steered me away from other things. And I'm that much stronger and better for it. So it would mean a lot to be able to inspire another little girl to go out and do the same."