The Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships is over, so you thought the athletes had all left Breckenridge, right? Wrong. Some call Breckenridge home, some are staying longer and training, and yet others are still arriving. Such was the case when the U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team visited the Breckenridge Recreation Center this week. And none other than 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney joined in on the action.
The US Freestyle Moguls team has long had a connection with Breckenridge. The head coach of the team, Scott Rawles, is a long-time resident, as are his parents. And Scott knows a thing or two about moguls, having coached through three Olympics, including the winning-est U.S. Freestyle Moguls Team in history at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010. Under his guidance, U.S. team members won three medals. Hannah Kearney captured the gold, while team mates Bryon Wilson and Shannon Bahrke both won bronze medals.
The U.S. Freestyle Moguls team has visited and trained in Breckenridge quite a bit over the years. Sometimes the athletes come for pre-season or post-season training, and other times they’re in town due to event schedules.
This week the team is in town due to a U.S. Freestyle Moguls selection event that is being hosted at Copper Mountain. Two spots are up for grabs for both the men’s and women’s events. And when they are not on the mountain, they head to their favorite place to work out and train: the Breckenridge Recreation Center.
Yes, just like Alice in the Looking Glass, you could have spied Hannah working out at the Rec Center, or Sho Kashima training in the weight room. But if you missed them while they were working out, you would definitely not have missed them — and the rest of the team — when they all gathered in the lobby for a FREE “meet and greet” and autograph session Dec. 18. The team handed out free posters and chatted with kids and adults alike, all while smiling and signing autographs. And those autographs were not limited to the posters: a few people brought their skis and helmets in, preferring to wear those autographs!
If you missed this autograph session, it most likely won’t be your last chance. Though there are no meet and greets scheduled right now, the athletes do formal autograph sessions when time and scheduling allow.
So while the Dew Tour has ended, the ability to see your favorite athletes both on and off the mountain continues in Breckenridge. Maybe you should head over to the Breck Rec Center and check out for yourself who’s there. You might find Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney on the treadmill next to you!