Local Olympian steps away: Hannah Halvorsen announces decision to move on from professional ski racing | SierraSun.com

Local Olympian steps away: Hannah Halvorsen announces decision to move on from professional ski racing

Hannah Halvorsen
U.S. Ski & Snowboard

One of the greatest Nordic skiers to come out of the Truckee-Tahoe area announced she’s stepping away from the sport.

Hannah Halvorsen, 24, on Thursday announced she’s transitioning away from professional ski racing following a career that included numerous World Cup starts since her debut in 2019. Later that year she suffered a career-threatening injuries when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The accident left her with a fractured tibia, a torn and detached MCL and PCL, and bleeding and bruising in her brain. And yet, the Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy alumna fought back to earn a place on the U.S. Ski Team and in December posted a career-best seventh place finish at a World Cup sprint event in Dresden, Germany. Halvorsen would later be named to her first Olympic team. She competed in sprint during the Beijing games and finished in 43rd place.

“I’ve decided to transition away from being a professional ski racer,” Halvorsen posted to social media. “It’s been amazing and thrilling and meaningful and challenging in the best ways. Even though I’m ready to try new things, I’ll never be done being the person skiing has helped me become. As much as I’ve given to this sport, the people who’ve supported and believed in me have given me so much more. Thank you for everything.”

Halvorsen will graduate this spring from Alaska Pacific University with a double major in business and psychology.

“There’s an opportunity for a big transition,” she told the Sierra Sun during a February interview. “I’ve been skiing for so much of my life and that’s really been a positive guiding force, but all of a sudden I have room to live different places, do different things. I’m not really sure yet, but I am looking forward to having a little more autonomy.”

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at jscacco@sierrasun.com

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