Hannah Kearney Says Goodbye to Norway in Style!

Hannah Kearney Says Goodbye to Norway in Style!

I am on the flight from Copenhagen to Washington, D.C right now and am very happy to have two seats to myself. One benefit of the tanking economy is that fewer people are flying, leaving me more room. This is the last leg of the journey that took me from Quebec to Utah to Vancouver to Sweden and finally Norway. It has been an very successful trip. I competed 8 times, won twice and got 3 second places. One of those silvers came in the Kari Traa Invitational fun dual yesterday. As a competitor, it is hard to turn down an opportunity to compete, even if it doesn’t count. However I struggled to make a decision after the World Cup on Friday. On one hand the prize money for first was $7,000 and 2nd thru 4th got gift certificates to Kari Traa’s cool clothing store, on the other hand, my body was fatigued and I wanted to avoid getting hurt.

I skied and it was the right choice. I won my first three duals, meaning I skied down the course at the same time as my opponent and beat them with my turns, jumps and speed. In the finals I skied against my nemesis, Jen Heil who has been putting pressure on me for the leader’s bib all season. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the middle section as I skied out of control. I pulled it together and completed
the run, but I had handed her the victory and the cash. It all worked out for the best because the 10,000 Norwegian kroner shopping spree was a fantastic, fun and unique experience. There was a prize giving ceremony complete with a band and fashion show done to Britney Spear’s remixed music.

After we accepted the certificate, flowers and traditional Norwegian pin, the announcer told us to exit the stage and get in the limo to take us the 50 meters down the street to the store that was open just for the top four skiers. The limo was actually a platform decorated with beach chairs and plastic palm trees, pulled by a tractor. A male model from the fashion show, escorted me off the float down the red carpet and into the store where we were greeted with pink champagne. Although I did not win any cash, my spree was valued at twice as much as the winner’s so I put my mind to it and spent $1,500 in less than an hour. After selecting a fleece for my step sister, a wool long underwear top for my step mother and a blue, printed, half zip layer for my mother, I stocked up on Kari’s fabulously soft, warm and patterned tights and tops for skiing. I also selected a funky hoodie with bird print, a two toned, green striped sweater and a blue fleece, but I wasn’t even half way to 10,000 kroner. I invited all of my female team mates to select an item of their choice and got sweatshirts for the coaches wives. Unfortunately, Kari Traa only makes women’s clothing so my dad and brother do not get to reap the benefits of my prize. It was an hour I will never forget. The only time I have spent that much money is when I put a large down payment on my Toyota Yaris. Oh, and paying my taxes, but this was free money and I got a much bigger variety of gear. I ended up throwing a hat, sports bra, socks and more long johns into the pile because there was no way I was leaving the store without using every cent.
Part of the deal was that the gift was only redeemable on that day. It felt great to get some clean clothes to travel home in and to share the moment and money with my teammates. I think they really appreciated the gesture. Our team can have a strange dynamic since it is actually an individual sport, but we are representing the same country. The good feelings continued through the night at the banquet and into the after party where the more elaborate fashion show took place. One of my male teammates ended the show with a pass down the runway in his skivvies. Three a.m. came all too soon and we headed to the airport to begin a long day of travel.
I can’t articulate how excited I am about returning home. I miss my dog and my house. I will be home for a week to celebrate my 23rd birthday on the 26th of this month and then I will be on my way to World Championships in Japan.

Check out Kari’s clothing and my new goods at www.karitraa.com

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