Teter, 27, finished where no one really wants to finish: Fourth place. That was one spot away from an Olympic medal in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe.
That certainly didn’t sit well with Teter, who is accustomed to much better. In her Olympic debut, Teter captured gold in 2006 at the Torino Olympics. Four years later, Teter was on the podium again, this time accepting a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics.
But Teter won’t be taking any hardware back to show off this time to adoring fans at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort, where she has trained for years and has her very own parking space.
Unheralded U.S. teammate, snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington, won the gold medal in the women’s halfpipe at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. The Idaho cowgirl did it the hard way too, edging the three previous Olympic champions.
Farrington held off reigning Olympic champion Torah Bright of Australia, who finished 0.25 of a point behind her in second place. Taking the bronze medal was 2002 gold medalist Kelly Clark of Mammoth Lakes.
Teter was fourth, just 0.25 behind.
Olympic Halfpipe Scoreboard
● Kaitlyn Farrington, USA 91.75
● Torah Bright, AUS 91.50
● Kelly Clark, USA 90.75
● Hannah Teter, USA 90.50
The popular Tahoe snowboarder wasn’t happy with the scoring. Teter thought she should have earned a medal in her third Olympics, questioning the judges’ scoring on her first run of the 12-rider final.
However, Teter remained congenial afterward, congratulating the three medal winners, especially Farrington, who was no one’s favorite to win gold in Sochi.
“(Farrington is) a loose cannon. But when she’s on, she’s really on,” Teter said of Farrington. “She styles for days. She looks good, very clean. Judges like that. I don’t think anybody knew that was coming – surprise, surprise!
Nobody can count her out – ever.”
Teter posted a high enough score in her first run of the qualification round to automatically move to the finals and didn’t need to attempt a second run. She placed second in her heat with a score of 90.25. The top three finishers of each heat bypassed the semifinals and headed straight to the finals.
A consolation for Teter was at least the gold medalist was wearing red, white and blue. Since halfpipe was introduced in the 1998 Olympics, Americans have won eight of the 15 medals awarded. Clark now has three medals – a gold and two bronze.
Teter is from a family of snowboarders who grew up in Vermont. Two of her four older brothers (Elijah, Abe) competed on the U.S. Snowboard team and oldest brother Amen acts as his sister’s manager.