While Hannah Teter aims for a gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, her role as a Female Action Sport Athlete may be overshadowed by her kindness and generosity. When fellow boarder Gretchen Bleiler earned a medal at the 2006 Torino Winter Games, Teter actually organized a party in her honor.
At 27 years of age, her remarkable efforts with charity and philanthropy make her a role model on and off the field of play. The VH1 DoSomething Awards recognized her with the DoSomething Athlete Award.
Proudly serving as a spokesperson for Boarding for Breast Cancer, she also took part in a protest regarding the Canadian seal hunt by doing an ad for PETA. The sponsoring of children in less fortunate parts of the world through Children International is another noble cause she is involved in.
She would also be involved with Children International through a unique venture. In 2010, which saw Teter obtain silver at the Vancouver Winter Games, she launched a line of underwear known as Sweet Cheeks. A remarkable 40% of all sales proceeds went to the organization in order to assist underprivileged and impoverished children.
Perhaps the most remarkable cause in Teter’s prominent career has come through maple syrup. Originally from Belmont, Vermont, Teter likely grew up visiting sugar shacks. As Vermont is one of the few states that produces maple syrup, it is a significant staple in winter. Of note, a line of syrup, promoted as “Hannah’s Gold”, named in tribute to the gold medal she earned in the halfpipe at Torino 2006, is part of a very special charitable cause.
In partnership with World Vision, it helps to support the village of Kirindon, Kenya. Through initiatives such as building schools, water purification and the digging of wells, proceeds from Hannah’s Gold go directly to the African village, helping to improve the quality of life. During the 2009 snowboard season, Teter actually donated all of her prize money to the Kirindon village.
Fellow Vermont-based company, the world famous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company, honored Teter with a flavor named after her. Dubbed Maple Blondie, the ice cream featured blonde brownie pieces and a maple caramel swirl. With proceeds of sales going to Teter’s charitable cause, it is a heart-warming story of Vermont entrepreneurs supporting each other in doing the right thing.
Before she left for Sochi, she was part of an even more special travel. Making a stop in Aspen, Colorado for a race on the giant slalom course at Ajax Mountain, she also became the first action sports athlete to represent the Special Olympics as a global ambassador. Other Americans that have earned the honor have included Michael Phelps and Apolo Anton Ohno.
For Teter, the chance to give back to the community is her greatest reward as a celebrity. Organizations such as Special Olympics, which help to provide the disabled a chance to integrate into society is one that Teter is proud to be part of. One of her four brothers, Josh, has intellectual disabilities, and the opportunity to work with Special Olympics helps to establish a stronger bond between the two.
With the Special Olymipcs motto of ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”, it is one of inspiration and motivation that Teter hopes shall define her sojourn into Sochi. Receiving her proclamation from Special Olympics International CEO Janet Froetscher and Colorado athlete Cody Field (her Special Olympics unified partner) sends her off to Sochi on a remarkably positive and special note.