A day before opening ceremonies officially kick off the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 7, reigning ladies' moguls champion Hannah Kearney of the United States will begin a two-day quest to defend her title. The talented freestyle skier, 27, confirmed her arrival in Russia via a quick update to Twitter followers on Jan. 31.
Kearney's post was a brief one, featuring a photo of a very busy and colorful bedspread and the comical text "Tonight is my 1st night in the athlete village at the Sochi Olympics. Hopefully bright comforters cure jet lag." As a freestyle skier, Kearney will make her temporary home in the Mountain Village, the largest of Sochi's three villages, along with other athletes competing in skiing, bobsled, freestyle skiing, luge, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboarding events.
The Sochi Games will mark Kearney's third and likely final career Olympic experience. Her first came as part of the 2006 Torino team, where a stumble early in her qualification run cost her a chance to advance to the medal round. She eventually finished a disappointing 22nd, stunning sports fans who had pegged her as a favorite for gold.
Just four years later, she found redemption in grand style when she took the gold medal at the Vancouver Games over Canadian Jennifer Heil and teammate Shannon Bahrke, who earned moguls silver at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
The first qualification round for the women's moguls competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games is set for Feb. 6 in Sochi.