Spotlight on Freeskier: Hanna Blackwell
Spotlight on: Hanna Blackwell, an up-and-coming freeskier from the Wood River Valley
By Colette House
Hanna Blackwell, 16, might be the only girl representing the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation on her freestyle ski team, but she’s got her sights set on some pretty fantastic heights. She hopes to represent the U.S. at the 2018 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, in the Women’s Halfpipe event. Blackwell started skiing because, well, when you live in a mountain town in Hailey, Idaho, that seems to be everyone’s sport of choice.
Ranking: 7th nationally for halfpipe and slope style
In-season training day: up before 7, at school until 12:15, hits the slopes from 2 to 4 p.m., then either trains new tricks at the Air Barn (a training center with trampolines and foam pits) or plays with her high school basketball team, does homework, and is asleep by 10 p.m.
Training day bites: apples, bananas, smoothies, yogurt, wrap sandwiches, chicken, salmon, potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Favorite food: pasta
Role models: her two older brothers, Chance and Colton, who first made her interested in freeskiing.
Favorite musician: Empire of the Sun
Favorite subject: math
Tips for balancing training and school: “It’s kind of hard to keep up with schoolwork. When I get home from a competition I don’t want to do any homework. I tell myself, You’re gonna want to hang out with your friends that you haven’t seen this week so you gotta get your homework done and get back on track.”
Likes to unwind by: Watching an episode (or two) of Grey’s Anatomy before falling asleep.
Favorite travel spot: Mammoth, CA because "that’s where I learned a whole bunch of new tricks (ski tricks)."
*Photo at top from vast action production.