2010 Olympics: Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke saves bronze for last | SierraSun.com

2010 Olympics: Tahoe City’s Shannon Bahrke saves bronze for last

Nate Peterson
Sierra Sun

AP PhotoShannon 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.

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN, B.C. and#8212; Shannon Bahrke said she felt like she was back home.

and#8220;I’m from Lake Tahoe,and#8221; she said, and#8220;and sometimes it’s been known to rain there.and#8221;

And sometimes, Bahrke soars. Saturday night was certainly one of them. Eight years after winning a silver medal in Salt Lake City and#8212;-her adopted home and#8212; 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.

and#8220;It’s so cool,and#8221; she said. and#8220;A two-time Olympic medalist. That’s awesome.and#8221; 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 and#8212; Silver Bean Coffee and#8212; and being a mom.

and#8220;This is the last hurrah,and#8221; said Bahrke, who has plans to get married on 10/10/10. and#8220;What a way to finish it. and#8220;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 that.and#8221; 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.

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and#8220;All my friends and my family and my coaches and my PTs and, I mean everybody,and#8221; she said. and#8220;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.and#8221;

She also thanked Kearney, who flamed out in Turin, failing to make the women’s final, for pushing her as a teammate. and#8220;If I’m going to get bumped out by anybody, it’s going to be my teammate,and#8221; she said. and#8220;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.and#8221;

Visit http://www.sierrasun.com/2010olympics to read more local coverage of the Winter Games, and to find links to blogs from our correspondent in Vancouver, photo galleries, and real time coverage from The Associated Press.