Shannon Bahrke

Olympian; Olympic Medalist; Freestyle Skier

Shannon Bahrke Biography

I was born in Reno, Nevada, the “Biggest Little City in the World.” I was raised in Tahoe City, California until I moved out to college when I was 17 years old.  I have two of the most amazing parents in the world Dick and Trilla Bahrke. I have one younger brother named Scotty who is also a member of the U.S. Freestyle Team, but he’s an aerialist. Yes, he’s the crazy one in the family.

I started skiing when I was three years old and grew up at all of the different resorts around Lake Tahoe. I made my first turns at Homewood Resort. When I knew a little bit more about what I was doing I expanded my horizons and bought a season pass at Alpine Meadows. When I finally started skiing freestyle I had to get a pass at the infamous Squaw Valley USA.

People always ask me how I got into the sport of Freestyle and the truth is that I was brought in kicking and screaming.  When I was 12, the head coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team and a good friend of my family, Ray deVre, decided that I had what it took to be great at Freestyle. He saw that I was athletic, an unruly child, and just a little crazy. He would call me every day and after a couple of months I told him I would come out and try it if he’d stop pestering me.

The moment I stepped out onto the mogul course I tumbled all the way to the bottom and immediately fell in love with the sport. Back in the day when freestyle was truly “freestyle” we had to compete in all three disciplines which are ballet (I know what you’re thinking), moguls, and aerials.  I wasn’t always destined to become a world class mogul skier; I actually made my first junior national team in ballet with the music of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll.” As time wore on and I began competing at the national level I found out that mogul skiing was my true love and eventually specialized in it.

During all of my early skiing madness I was also playing softball and track (not my strong sports), soccer, biking, and water skiing. At school I had learned how to play the trumpet and played in three different bands (symphonic, wind ensemble, and jazz band). I also maintained a 3.5 GPA through all of high school.

When I graduated high school and the time finally came to make some decisions about my future I made the tough choice of moving away from home and moving to Salt Lake City. I was accepted at the University of Utah and my goals were to make the U.S. Freestyle Team, make the University of Utah soccer team, or play trumpet in the University of Utah marching band.

I tried out for the soccer team.  I didn’t make the team, but I won the United States Ski Team Selection Event in December of 1998 and earned a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. So at that point I did not have to try out for the marching band, thank goodness because I am a much better skier than trumpet player. My first year on the team, I skied to my first podium in Japan and was elevated to the “A” team, where I have remained since then.  The rest is history. I kept improving on the World Cup circuit with an impressive 22 podium finishes and ultimately skied my way to an Olympic silver medal. The next year I won the overall World Cup title and with it came a huge crystal globe (very fancy looking).

I broke my jaw in Japan in 2003 and missed the rest of the season. After a hard summer of recovering and training to get back I blew out my knee in the 2nd event of the season. My career went from so wonderful to all of the sudden sidelined with injuries so quickly I don’t even know what happened. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. These setbacks have strengthened my desire to win to a level I couldn’t have imagined possible a couple of years ago. So, here I come, watch out, because the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino are coming soon and I want to win GOLD!!!!!!

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Shannon Bahrke is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Shannon Bahrke for your event is . Shannon Bahrke generally travels from Salt Lake City, UT, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Shannon Bahrke for an upcoming event.

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