Shannon Bahrke: Athlete, Entrepreneur, Skiing Mom

Shannon Bahrke: Athlete, Entrepreneur, Skiing Mom

Tom Kelly

By Tom Kelly \ December 24 2019

Episode 4 - Dec, 24, 2019

There’s never a dull moment in the life of Shannon Bahrke Happe: athlete (two-time Olympic medalist), entrepreneur (her Team Empower Hour brings Olympians together to motivate) business leaders and mom (young Zoe and Tucker, both literally born on skis, and husband Matt).

Life is a blend for Bahrke, a Lake Tahoe native who made Utah her home in 1998 to train for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. It worked, as she won silver in moguls skiing at Deer Valley Resort. She won another medal - this one bronze - eight years later in Vancouver.

The Christmas holidays will find her skiing with guests as a part of Deer Valley’s Ski With a Champion program. But what’s especially important for her is her family.

“I love this time of year because I get to ski with my favorite families,” she said. “But, most of all, I look forward to being out there with my own family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We’ll be skiing, sledding, playing in the snow and hoping for a giant snowstorm so we can build a gi-normous snowman.”

Known for her trademark pink-accented hair, Shannon remains a bubbly personality and one of skiing’s biggest ambassador.

Ski Utah’s Last Chair episode features a fascinating conversation with the two-time Olympic medalist - her favorite run, a noted celebrity with whom she’s skied (it’s a perfect match) and even her favorite ski outfit (she has a few). Take a listen - it will be an exhilarating experience.

Listen to "E4. Shannon Bahrke: Athlete, Entrepreneur, Skiing Mom" on Spreaker.

Episode 4 - Transcript

00:00:08 Happy holidays, Utah skiers and riders, and what a holiday we have coming up with nearly full operation at most all of the Utah resorts.

00:00:16 Hi, I'm Tom Kelly, your host for last chair from Ski, Utah, telling the story of the greatest snow on earth. It will be a busy week at the resorts coming up over the holidays. So as locals, let's all be good Utah hosts and make our guests feel at home. We have a really fun program this week on Last Year from Ski, Utah. This is an athlete who moved to Utah a few years ago. And we're gonna learn a little bit more about her story. Two time Olympic medalist and entrepreneur, a business owner, a skiing celebrity, and most importantly, she's also a skiing mom. Shannon Barki scored a breakthrough silver medal at the 2002 Olympics right here in Deer Valley Resort. She doubled that up with bronze at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver behind teammate Hannah CARNEY, who took gold. A native of Tahoe, Shannon fell in love with the Wasatch and makes her home now in the solich Valley with Husband Mountain. There, a little girl, and there a little boy. Never one to sit around Shannon's team empower our has energized corporate clients. She's also a key member of Deer Valley's ski with a champion program. Shannon, welcome to last year.

00:01:24 Well, hi, T.K.. How are you?

00:01:26 I'm doing great. It's been an amazing season so far, hasn't it?

00:01:30 I can not believe how good the conditions have been. We've got powder days. We've had bluebird days. We've had blizzard days. I've been in heaven.

00:01:39 That's good. You know, I know I've been out there a lot, too. And looking forward to getting a few runs with you sometime this season. But we're in the holidays right now, and that's the ski season. You've got a family. So what are some of your holiday plans coming up this week?

00:01:53 Well, I am gonna be skiing with Deer Valley Gas for most of my time. I love this time of year because I get to ski with my favorite families. But I will be also out there with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And we're gonna be ski in just doing all the fun things, probably sledding and hoping for a snow storm so that we can build a ginormous snowman. So have you been out with the kids already this year? Yes. So my little guy Tucker is a year and a half. And for the first time, we put him on skis. And it was hilarious because it was in front of like the entire Deer Valley ski instructors. And I was like, OK, this is a big pressure moment. You know, these guys know what they're doing. They know how to get people started. Am I doing the right thing? But Tucker stood up and he went about 15 feet. And then I put him in a little urgo baby on the front. And I have skewered powder and groomers and hopefully the moguls will form up nice. So we can ski together in those two. So here's what, a year and a half now, a year and a half. And my little girl, Zoe, who is six, is just crushing it. It's been fun to chase her down and and see her do things that last year she wouldn't even think of doing.

00:03:02 So as Tucker a little bit heavier this year, the carrier.

00:03:05 He is a little bit heavier and his feet hang just so that the back of his ski boots hit me right in the knees, which isn't optimal. But but we're both smiling and having a really good time. So I'm loving every second.

00:03:17 Fox I saw some video earlier and it really is fun to watch.

00:03:22 People are like, what is that lady doing? And then they're like, Oh, okay. She looks like she has the skill set to do that. We won't bother her anymore.

00:03:29 Ok. So liquefying.

00:03:31 So, Shannon, let's go back to your childhood in Tahoe. And you know, you you had a great family, and I know that your family got you out skiing early on. Tell us a little bit about your childhood growing up on snow in Tahoe.

00:03:43 It was the childhood that I think everybody dreams of. You know, I grew up in the mountains and the beautiful fresh air. And and, you know, I played lots of sports. I swam in Lake Tahoe, we played soccer, we ran track, we played softball. We just played in the woods. But the best thing was in the winter, you know, we we got to go skiing. And I was really lucky. Holmwood Ski Resort is about five minutes from my house and it's one of the most beautiful ski resorts in all of the world. Whenever you're skiing down on the face of Holmwood, it looks like you're skiing right into the lake. So that's where I got to learn with my mom and dad. And they instilled this love of skiing for me. And and I guess the rest is history.

00:04:25 How old were you when you were first on skis?

00:04:27 I was three, so I don't remember it. But that's what my mom and dad tell me, that I was three. And I have so many pictures of, you know, being little with no goggles. And I don't even think gloves just out there with my hair flowing and and just enjoying the sunshine in the snow.

00:04:45 We're going to talk in a little bit about your Olympic pathway. But as a three, four, five year old, I know you're just out there having fun, but knowing you for some years, I know you are competitive. And at what point in your recreational skiing career did did it start to become a little bit of a contest for you?

00:05:02 Well, so when I was twelve. Bradbury, who was the coach of the Squaw Valley freestyle team at the time, you know, knew my family and knew me and approached me about joining the Squaw Valley freecell team now was not because he thought I had the skills to do that. It was more because I was wild and crazy and could probably give it a, you know, a solid effort. So I joined large enough to continue maybe a little.

00:05:26 Exactly. That was that was it. It was not because of skills. And I and I joined that team and I was absolutely awful at Moggill skiing. I mean, I got my butt kicked every which way. But I really loved. And I thought that, OK, if these girls can do it, I can do it, too. And I think that is really where my competitive ness ignited, was just getting beat every single day and being like, no way. Like they were all from the same place. We got the same skills, we have the same coaches. I can do what they can do, too. So I think that's really where my competitive fire started.

00:06:02 Were there some things that your coaches told you or instilled in you that really inspired you to to that next level in the sport?

00:06:11 You know, I think growing up with with Johnny Mosley as as a U.S. ski team member and always coming back, it wasn't necessarily I remember certain things that our coaches told us, but it was always we watched World Cup videos. Right. So we watch Edgar and we watched Diana. But having Johnny come back into our locker room with the U.S. ski team, outfit on and go skiing with us and, you know, tell us that we could do the same thing that he could do. I think that's really where I believed that I could do it was having him come back.

00:06:46 So Johnny is a few years older than you, right? Yes.

00:06:49 Well, I'm only 25. I don't know how Johnny is, you know, five. Forty five. That's right. That's right. 60.

00:06:57 But but so. So do you you know, I can't quite figure the timeline on this, but his medal in 1998, you were in the competitive program there. I mean, I guess you were in your teens at that point. How impactful was that when Johnny Mosley came back from Nagano with a gold medal and brought that into the clubhouse?

00:07:17 Oh, my gosh. Well, I'll never forget we were we were on the NORTHAM tour. So we had a contingency of Squaw Valley athletes and we watched it in a ski lodge. I think we were up in Canada and we watched him, you know, do his mute grab and hold it out.

00:07:34 And we were like just landed in Atlanta. He came across the finish line. We knew that he had a gold medal.

00:07:40 And I swear that just lifted our Squaw Valley team up. We were like, oh, my gosh, somebody from our team is the best in the world and not just the best in the world. But he did it in style. He did it the way that I think everybody wants to do it, put an exclamation point on it and do it the way that you had envisioned it. And I just that was such an empowering moment for me to set that stage in that tone for what I wanted to do for my ski career. I will never forget it. I couldn't sleep for like a week. I was too excited.

00:08:14 So let's let's kind of walk things up now to the 2002 Olympics. And you had the distinction of winning an Olympic medal in 2002 and then winning another one 10 years later, which is really difficult.

00:08:28 Only eight, eight years later.

00:08:31 Eight years later.

00:08:32 But that's difficult to do. Two Olympics later and each of them represented something quite different to the pathway was really quite different. And if I can characterize the 2002 one, it was it maybe wasn't a surprise, but it was youthful exuberance. It was something really new. And it was that all of a sudden moment and walk us through that pathway and how you got to the Olympics and then we'll talk about the medal itself.

00:08:59 Yeah. You know, I think I always when I when I watch Olympics now, it's so funny because you, you know, first time Olympians, right.

00:09:10 You look in there and everything's just so fresh and new and exciting. And and I'm just like, oh, my gosh. Now is your moment. Because once you compete in the Olympics, you know the weight of what it means. And I and I love that freshness of having athletes compete their first time because they don't quite know what that moment means yet. So for me being you know, I've just turned 21, I actually almost missed making those Olympics. And I hadn't really figured out yet that to be great. You not only needed physical strength, but you needed emotional and mental strength. And I actually found that through a hypnotherapist at Christmas time with only three World Cups to go, I wasn't qualified for those Olympics. So that really figuring out those mental and emotional strengths for me were huge. But then going into 2002 at. Almost felt like a storybook ending, like it was supposed to be that way. And that was really magical to be able to stand in the gate. And I've never felt that before or since. But that moment was supposed to be great and it was almost effortless.

00:10:20 How did you actually qualify to be in that starting gate, though?

00:10:25 So back in the day, we had an event called the Gold Cup. And so for people that aren't familiar with our sport on how we qualified was, you have to win a World Cup. You have to get two top threes or three top fives. And really, in our sport, we have such incredible skiers that you either have to win or get a top three to be able to make our squad. But back in the day, we had this event called the Gold Cup and it was winner take all. So the winner of that event got a spot in the Olympic Games, the first spot that they gave out and a check for $10000. Now, I don't know what was cooler because the check for $10000 was, you know, nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine dollars more than I'd ever had in my bank account at the time. But I got my spot at that Gold Cup on the on the Olympic course at Deer Valley, one of the most special moments of my entire life coming into that event.

00:11:18 You knew it was do or die that that was your ticket. And if you didn't do that, you weren't going to the Olympics.

00:11:23 Well, we still had a couple more World Cups, so I still could have qualified if I won a World Cup, which I did. But that was the first like this was it. You know, if I wanted an undisputed spot that no coach could take away from us. We had to win that gold cup.

00:11:39 Now, that run the champion runner, Deer Valley is regarded as one of the toughest moguls course in courses in the world. Had you spent much time on that course at Deer Valley before you went into the Gold Cup?

00:11:51 Yes, we were so thankful. Deer Valley was such an incredible partner for us. They saw on the home field advantage and they allowed us to build almost an exact replica of what the Olympic course was going to be.

00:12:05 So I was so thankful that we knew what was coming. You know, we had the flushes in the moguls, so they got closer together right before the jump. So we were able to practice that before we went on the course. So we not only had training that year, we had training for the Gold Cup. Then we had an Olympic training, a two week course in between. In between when we qualified for the Olympics and the Olympics. So we had a lot of time on that course to become familiar.

00:12:33 Look, let's go up to the Olympics themselves. Now you're in the starting gate. You've got your plan. You've been on the course. What's going through your mind as you head out? What was going to be your silver medal run?

00:12:45 You know, it was funny. The first run, I felt like my my legs were lead weights. And I remember Laghi like after getting down, being like, oh, my gosh, that was the scariest moment.

00:12:55 I remember going over to my mom and she was like, wow, you looked you looked like a deer in headlights up there. And like, I know, mom, imagine how I felt inside.

00:13:05 So it was one of those moments where you think, oh, my gosh, I'm not ready for this. Like, there has to be somebody else that has to come in and stand in for me, because I'm not this great Olympian. Like, I don't know what I'm going to do.

00:13:16 But the second run, one of the things that I do is I look up at the sky. And that day in 2002, it was a bluebird day. And I always think how thankful I am to be able to compete all over the world, to look at the mountains, no matter whether weather at the Wasatch or the Andes or the Alps or the Dolomites. How lucky I am to be in that moment. And the mountains are a piece of my soul. Now, I looked out at the crowd, and usually, you know, at a mall at the bottom of a mobile course, there's ten people, there's our coaches, our parents, and then two drunk people that have missed their way to the bar. So to have 30000 people down there and most of them in red, white and blue, I mean, that was that was such an incredible moment. And then I looked at the task at hand and and I knew that I was meant to be there. I knew that I was going to that I was going to ski the best run that I put down and competition. So they asked Olympian ready. I had this huge smile on my face. And when I pushed out of the gate, it just everything everything came together, all the training, all the hard work, all the love for my family and trainers and coaches. It just it came together and I was able to execute. What were your tricks that day? Oh, my gosh. It sounds so silly now, but it was pretty progressive then.

00:14:28 We didn't have I think I was the first girl to do two 360s in Iran. So I did a 360 or I did a 360 cross up top and then a 360 off the bottom. Whoo! Big stuff.

00:14:43 Now I want to talk to the men about what Jonny Moseley through. That was an interesting story, too. But but you're in the finish line.

00:14:51 You've had a great run. Who do you see in the crowd? Who you find?

00:14:55 Oh, my gosh. I mean, I knew where my family was and I knew my mom and my dad and my brother and, you know, all my aunts and uncles and friends and family. Had come there to be there with me.

00:15:06 And, you know, you see them and you can just see the look of like, holy crap, she just did that like my little daughter, you know how to wow. And I felt that way, too.

00:15:17 But it was just this this moment of all that sacrifice, everything that they had put into, you know, not being able to afford sending me around the world, but doing it any way, you know, to be able to find them in the crowd and and just and hug them and share that moment was really special, I think, for me.

00:15:34 And having been in the finish for a lot of Olympic medals, it was a really special moment because it it truly did. As you said, it represented family.

00:15:42 Yeah, it was you know, I've I'm not anywhere without my family. And they've been they've been my everything, you know. And so to be able to share that moment with them and give them something back. You know, sometimes I think parents of of athletes, they just give and give and give. And so sometimes the return on investment isn't very good.

00:16:04 Return on investment. They're really not very monetary.

00:16:07 But it was, you know, the love and the joy and the celebration. That was that was what it was all about.

00:16:13 You know, Johnny, mostly who had inspired you for years earlier with his gold medal from Nagano. He really pushed the sport. And I've always looked at that 2002 Olympics. And I've kind of look at Johnny as having sacrificed a medal in order to push the sport to new heights, doing a trick that was not maybe in the rulebook. Exactly, but it was a fan favorite. Can you tell us a little bit about the dinner roll?

00:16:39 Yeah. So the dinner. Oh, my gosh. I. So he you know, he he was he was like, okay, well, we're gonna revolutionize the sport. I'm going to do you know, if you watch traditional diving or gymnastics, they do a backflip with a full 360 throughout. But their feet go right over their head. And we weren't allowed to do that yet. So he said, well, fine, I'm going to take your rules and I'm going to bend them a little bit and I'm going to do that same backflip with a full twist. But I'm not gonna allow my feet to go over my head. So I'm gonna kind of do it off access and then I'm going to throw a little style in there.

00:17:11 Well, I remember that entire summer. Johnny didn't land one and he would come back from training. So discouraged and just I mean, beat up and bruised.

00:17:23 And, you know, finally all of us were like, Johnny, are you like, really? I don't think this is going to happen. We're now, you know, a couple months out and you haven't even landed one yet. And I it was just a miraculous thing to watch him finally start to land it. I think it was in Winter Park in in the fall. You know, he had this grand plan and he finally started to nail it. And I was just like, oh, my gosh, I see your vision. I see what you're trying to do. I see where you're trying to take our sport. I didn't want to be a part of that because I not only didn't know how to do a backflip, let alone a backflip with a full twist. But it was it was amazing to watch an idea go from just an idea to an execution to an almost medal in the Olympics. And I thought he should have deserved it.

00:18:08 But if you just had gone a little bit faster, it would've happened if the crowd had been judges. He would have.

00:18:14 Oh, my gosh. Yes. If anybody else had been in those seven seats, I think you would've had another medal.

00:18:21 And folks, he ended up forced. So he did just barely missed a medal. But what he did is he really did change the sport. And you were one of the beneficiaries of it, because over the next few years, you became the dominant force in women's mogul skiing because you figured out how to do those inverted tricks once they were made legal.

00:18:39 Yeah, it was. You know, I I really thought to myself, okay. So I came from the same program Johnny did and he did this jumping is definitely not my forte, but I'm going to give it a I'm going to give it a go. I'm going to try and do what he did. So I was actually the first female to throw the dinner all in competition. It was in Italy in the Dolomites. And I remember Liz saying, okay, you've practice on the water ramps, you practice it here, let's put it in Iran. And I looked at her like she was completely crazy, like no one would know. I know. I mean, I don't think I'm ready for that. She's like, yes, you are. Get up there and do it. And, um, and I remember doing it.

00:19:19 And and I just felt the satisfaction of, wow, I turned something that I am not very good at into one of my strengths and to be able to, you know, have Johnny do that as the first male and then to do it as the first female is something I'm really proud of.

00:19:36 Well, and you should be I mean, it was a revolutionary period of the sport and it was really fun to watch. You know, around that time, you also made a decision to move from Tahoe and make Salt Lake City your home.

00:19:47 Well, I actually moved here in 98. So right after I right after I graduated from high school, I really wanted to find a place that time that one I could make the U.S. ski team, one that had an incredible school. So I enrolled at the University of Utah. But the thing that I really loved about Utah was I made some friends from the Wasatch freestyle team and they would always come out to Tahoe to compete. And I just thought, oh my gosh, those guys are so much fun. And every time we get together, you know, we just we have a great time on skis. And so that is like my home away from home. So I moved out here. I joined the Wasatch freestyle team, bought a pass at the bird and and just and fell in love with Utah. And I didn't think that I would, you know, be here forever. I thought that I'd move back to Tahoe. But here we are, I think 22 years later.

00:20:41 Do you think back to those days of skiing at Snowbird and how much fun that was a big alpine area.

00:20:46 Young girl from Tahoe out here just ripping it up, just wreaking havoc, having fun. You know, we had our little rat pack going and just jumping off cliffs, skiing the powder, hooting and holler and riding the tram. I mean, those are some of the best memories that I have here. Cool.

00:21:02 Let's. Let's fast forward now to the 2010 Olympics, eight years after Salt Lake City. You're at a different point in your career right now. Yes. I'm going to guess that that was a tougher medal.

00:21:16 It people always ask me what is the more meaningful medal? And it is it is as much as I loved winning here in front of a home crowd. I think what I had to overcome to be able to stand on that podium and to be able to share a podium with a teammate was really, really special. So, yeah, I mean, I had overcome two to blown our knees, a broken jaw being the old lady on the team. I remember somebody wrote an article about me going into those Olympics. It was called an oldie but a goodie. And I was like, oh, man, that hurts so bad. And I and I blew it. My first run in Vancouver, too, I got so stiff in the gate and couldn't can't overcome the mental blocks that I was building slowly but surely that day.

00:22:03 So to come out of sixth place after the first round and just throw caution to the wind and seize that opportunity that I was given, another opportunity that I had almost given up on and to come away with the silver medal was was just one of the coolest memories that I that I have.

00:22:24 You know, for the listeners, one of the challenges with a judged sport is that when you do have a couple of runs and you don't do as well as others in that first run, that the judges maybe kind of tilt a little bit away from you.

00:22:36 So it's no small feat to have come back from sixth after the first run to actually take that bronze medal.

00:22:44 Yeah, it was I mean, especially that year. I have never seen so many incredible competitors that close. I mean, in another year, you know, in Salt Lake, I would have been like, oh, no problem to come back from Sixth. But in Vancouver, I was just like, there is no way. The competition has just been absolutely incredible. So, you know, and everybody always asked me, well, how close were you? I'm like, oh, my gosh, Hannah kicked my butt more than anybody could have ever kicked my butt by.

00:23:13 I mean, she won that gold medal with authority. So to be, you know, on the podium with a with a true champion in an Hannah Kearney and also Jen Heil, who won a gold medal in 2006, I felt like I was in really, really incredible company. And it was a big honor to be on the podium with them.

00:23:32 And Jen Hale, a Canadian skiing in her home country with the support of all of the fans there. It was quite a battle.

00:23:40 It was. And, you know, she was. So if listeners don't know, up until the 2010 Olympics, no Canadian had ever won a gold medal on Canadian soil. So anytime the Canadians head into the Olympics, not just mobile skiing. Yeah. In any Olympic sport, they had not won a gold medal. So, you know, Jen was in the running to to win a gold medal. And so I think I don't see it. I mean, they had so many people there that they were you know, they thought that they were going to witness Jen Heil stand on the top of that podium. And Hannah closed the door on her.

00:24:14 So I felt kind of bad, but I was really excited for Team USA.

00:24:19 You know, you know, shattered that image of you and Hannah coming together in your your star cover. Does competition suits and given a big hug, that doesn't happen very often. That's a very special moment, isn't it?

00:24:34 Yeah, it is. And, you know, it's so funny because Hannah and I are so different. You know, I I very much am really emotional and I kind of, you know, live up to moments where I feel like I'm lifted up by people and experiences and and just momentum. So to me, I'm very much an emotional person. And Hannah is. She could not be more of you know, she knows exactly how many 360s. She says how many how many moguls are in that course. She is.

00:25:04 She is so detail oriented, so it's so funny to see to, you know, people that are so different. Really have a special day and come together on it.

00:25:14 Hannah Kania, a native of Norwich, Vermont, who also now lives here in Salt Lake, going to school at Westminster College and making this Utah her home now. So you may see her on the slopes as well. Yep. Lessons learned. You had a great career as an athlete and you achieved that success because of the skills that you built up together with your coaches. What lessons did you take away from competitive skiing that have helped you as an entrepreneur?

00:25:42 You know, I think the biggest one is hustle. When I stood in the gate at every competition, I knew that I had done everything possible. To get myself ready for that competition, whether it was mentally, physically, emotionally, I was ready to be there. And I feel like sometimes in business people think, well, how can I'm just going to do this? And things are going to happen. And and every single day I am doing everything that I possibly can to be successful. So I think when I when I put myself in in those places to have opportunities to take to get somewhere in business, I know that I've put in the hustle. So for me, that's something that lives on every day, head down, grinding it out, you know, making it happen.

00:26:28 You are the quintessential Energizer Bunny, right?

00:26:32 Have you met my daughter? She is the quintessential Energizer. Do this, by the way, at what point did the pink hair come into play?

00:26:42 Oh, my gosh. I know. I get this question all. It's been pink for so long. I think it was some time in, I have to say, like two thousand five, maybe I just was bored of having blonde hair. And I always wanted to have a little reminder that I'm different. I'm special. I have everything that I need inside myself to be awesome. And I want to do it my way. Kind of a little nod to Johnny Mosley if he wants to do it his way. I want to do it my way. It's become a part of your brand. Yep. Yep. You wrote a book about it. I did the best, most fun journey that I ever did. I wrote a book called Mommy Why Is Your Hair Pink? And on the two main characters are myself and my little girl, Zoe. And it was one of the most fun things that I've ever that I've ever had the privilege of doing.

00:27:33 Did so tell us a little bit more about how that actually came about, how the book came about. So.

00:27:41 You know, I just I love kids books. And it's one of our favorite things that we do every night is we read to our kids. And now that so is old enough, she reads to us and we read to her, you know. So I just I wanted to create something for kids because I feel like, you know, kids I don't think know enough that we have everything inside of us to be great.

00:28:05 People are always searching how to be green, how to do it and how to find this and how how can I get help? How good is we have it all. And so I think the more that we can instill that in our children, that they don't have to look outside, that they have at all, that that was a really important lesson for me to be able to share. So one of my business advisors, her name is Rae. Right. And and she approached me about doing a book. And I said that while I'm not ready for a book, my story isn't even written. She's like, well, what about a kid's book? And I was like, oh, now's the opportunity to share. So it was it was really incredible because she gave me the every aspect of the book is what I want it to be. And so I got to write all the words. I had an editor certainly help me and a writer. I found a an incredible illustrator. So I got to know she got to bring my story to life. So everything in that book is exactly how I want it to be, which is which means a lot.

00:29:04 Cool. Shannon, you have always been a great storyteller throughout your whole career. And I know that from the media's perspective, they always love to talk to you. You were able to then translate that into a very good public speaking career, which has not morphed into team and power.

00:29:22 Yeah. I love telling stories and I feel like my story was so much fun that I wanted to be able to help people. So. So yeah, I do a lot of keynote speaking, but you know, I wanted to do more than that. I want to be able to help fellow Olympians. So in in 2011, one of our one of our dear freecell friends died by suicide. And I was going through a really hard time in my life. I it everything looks good on paper. I had just come away with two Olympic medals. I was set to get married. And, you know, we started a coffee company and everything was supposed to be great. And I was just supposed to dance into the sunset of my next life. And a year later, I found that that wasn't so. And I felt really alone. And I felt I just felt like I didn't know what to do. And here I was, this great athlete that had worked so hard and that didn't define me anymore. And how did I define myself? How did I how could I keep going forward? So when Speedy's died, it really it really sparked in me that I wanted to be able to help Olympians. So I kind of cultivated in the back of my mind, I wanted to have a company that, you know, we could that I could hire and pay Olympians.

00:30:36 So many people are like, oh, my gosh, you know, Levine, can you donate your time? Can you come back and give back to the community and can you do this and this and this? I said we've been doing that our entire careers. We don't make any money.

00:30:48 So I want to pay Olympians. So I. So I decided to take. My love of storytelling and a platform to to give to corporate people and to give to really anybody to be able to bridge that gap and be able to give back to Olympians. So we we do a lot of leadership development team building, keynote speaking and workouts, all the things that we know to be true and are passing that on.

00:31:13 So if you're going into work with a corporate client and I know that it runs the gamut. But what's the typical kind of high energy program that you might do with a corporate client?

00:31:23 So we bring a lot of movement in. My biggest thing is people have people are sitting so much these days. So for us, we get them up and moving because we know the value of movement. Right, Olympians, we know that to be true. We want to get people's endorphins going, their smiles big. You know, interacting with their team. So we get them up doing balance stuff that we did in the Olympics, teaching them how to go through an agility ladder, different exercises that we used to do. Followed by key takeaways. What did I learn by standing in the gate in the 2002 Olympics? What did I learn at my biggest failure points? How did I overcome them? So we do a lot of key takeaways followed by movement. Wash, rinse, repeat. So it's really, really fun. And and I feel like everybody benefits from, you know, that interaction. Our Olympic spirit that we have and sharing that with them.

00:32:17 Let's take it on snow now. And I know that in the next couple of weeks during the holidays, you're going to be spending a lot of time on snow when you're taking guests out at Deer Valley. And I know, again, it's it's going to depend on the guests, but where some of the places you like to take them home.

00:32:33 My gosh. Well, you know, I love to start people just on the groomers that are south facing. So they kind of warm up a little bit. So one of my favorite runs to take him down is to the Jordan el gondola, because one, I mean, it has the most incredible view. And then if it's really cold out, you get to get in a nice warm gondola and get back to the top. I always love to to take people to new places for lunch. There's a lot of hidden gems, I think, on the on the mountain that a lot of people don't know about. So my favorite place, I think to introduce people to is a Goldner Hirsch. If they love if they love fondue, you have to go there. So I love people take taking people to a really good lunch. And then one of the things that I do love is to is to kind of push people a little bit outside their comfort zone. So, of course, that means taking them into the moguls.

00:33:25 And people are like, no way am I meant to do that.

00:33:29 So I take him to Los Bolder and I give them a couple tools and tips. And, you know, you'd be surprised how many people really have never really understood how to ski moguls. And when you give them those couple nuggets, they're like, oh, my gosh, this is actually fun.

00:33:45 I like these.

00:33:46 So now I've actually had clients that never wanted to do it. Now that have Moggill skis, like dedicated Moggill skis and and ski moguls with me all the time.

00:33:56 So, Shannon, are you the one responsible for those models on the bottom of Los Boulder?

00:34:00 Yes. Yes, I am. I wait until people come and I corral them in and then I make them ski them.

00:34:07 So can you take me out there and eliminate my fear?

00:34:09 Yes, I can. I can't. You just need you know, you just need a couple things.

00:34:14 You need to understand how to read, you know, what? You're skiing and to be proactive instead of reactive. And there's a couple different ways that you can do that. So, yes, Teekay, come out with me. Follow me around my crazy outfits and we got it. Do I need skis? Well, to really I think, you know, get the most out of it. You need something super soft. So a lot of people come out there with race skis and I'm like, this isn't gonna go well. It's just not they're just not they're just not made for this.

00:34:41 So you've got to have that flexibility. The ski.

00:34:44 Yeah. And, you know, a lot of people have the shaped skis and shape skis are great for holding an edge. But mogul skiing, you want to set that quick edge and then get off and be onto the next one. So I always encourage people if they want to ski the moguls to not come on race skis, but to get more of an all mountain ski that's a little bit softer and easier for them to turn.

00:35:05 So what's your Moghul ski that you like?

00:35:07 Oh, my gosh. Well, I am iron, so I ski for Rossignol right now and I'm on the experience 84. So I can't just ski on a dedicated Moggill ski every day because we got to do groomers, we got to do powder, we gotta do shoots, we gotta do all those things. But that ski experience 84 is is an incredible ski for any skier that wants to be able to do everything on the mountain.

00:35:31 Well, my 88s work in the bumps.

00:35:34 I will help you make them work. Thank you.

00:35:36 Thank you. So, Jan, if you're old skin with a family. Yeah. Know you've got mountain. The two kids. Where where do you guys tend to go?

00:35:45 Well, you have to take them to all of the fun places in Deer Valley. So you've got to take them to Bucky's front yard. You've got to go to Ruby's tale. And if you go down, you know, through the trees, there's so many fun things to do with kids.

00:36:02 But you have to make sure that you have to make a hot cocoa break. And I love the hot cocoa break up at the top in Cushings cabin because it's just a beautiful place to go. You get a hot cocoa and a cookie and then everybody's nice, warm and snuggly, and then you can get back outside again.

00:36:19 Cushings is my favorite getaway. The Hmong. I know it was there yesterday having a cup of tea.

00:36:26 And Quincy's cabin is another place that you've got to take kids because it's through the trees. And then you come to this little cabin and there's a sleeping bear in there. So there's lots of really fun things to do with kids at Deer Valley.

00:36:40 What are the kids into? Ski and party? Like it is always ski and powder.

00:36:45 So I am I'm so thankful because this is the first year that she really loves it. I mean, before all she wanted to do is just go get turkey chili and ride and ride the the. We call it the truck train from the parking lot, you know, to Deer Valley.

00:37:02 So we'd ride that like eight times and then just go one day laps on that. People are like, you actually know ski. We're like, now we're just gonna we're just gonna ride this around the parking lot for a while. I can't picture this, you know. And people are like, aren't you the Olympian? And you're just riding the track Marine around like, hey, you know, when you're a mom, you've got to do those things.

00:37:22 So this is the first year, I think, where she's really, really loving skiing. She did powder for the first time. She's excited to ski moguls because she wants to do them like mom. So I see some big things for this winter. So I am really, really excited. You guys gonna be skiing on Christmas Day? Oh, you betcha. We're gonna open presents. We're gonna get we're gonna get grandma and grandpa to come and sit in the lodge because they don't ski anymore. So we're gonna show em all the skills they'll set up there by the fire. My mom's gonna have a glass of wine. My dad's gonna have a beer and we're gonna be skiing. So it's gonna be perfect Christmas. It'll be a great day. It'll be a great day.

00:37:58 Shannon, you've been an amazing guest. We're gonna close it out with a little lightning round. A few questions for you. Okay. Um, trick questions. There's no wrong answers at all. And on the last question, I think you're going to probably, though. Well, I'm not going to spoil a surprise favorite cup of coffee. Oh, well, that that, by the way, and this is from someone who started the coffee company, Silver Bean Coffee. So, you know, what is it now?

00:38:21 Well, I mean, I love this silver bean is still out there. I just want you to know so you have to find it. But it is still my favorite silver bean. Coffee on a vanilla latte is my absolute favorite. Cool favorite hot chocolate. Oh, my gosh. Well, when you go up to Royal Street and you get that the on the hot chocolate that's on a stick and then you put it in the hot milk and then you stir in that. That is my favorite Hawkeye's. You can't beat that.

00:38:50 We'll get one of those. This winner. Favorite ski run in Utah.

00:38:55 Oh, my gosh. My favorite ski run. My favorite ski run has to be shoot for.

00:39:02 Shoed for duty, do take your clients out there? No, no, we're not allowed to.

00:39:07 We are not allowed to.

00:39:09 The audience on a really a really good day. I say, you guys go here. I'm going down here. We can't do that. I'm just kidding. But no, we don't. I can't take people up there. But that is my my favorite for the listeners.

00:39:20 Tell us a little bit about how you get to shoot for.

00:39:23 Well, I can't I can't give away my secrets. Is he okay? You just got to look up. It's off Empire. And it's one of the shoots off to your left. And it is, you know, growing up in squalor. I love shoots. I love steeps. Anything that, you know, gets gets your heart going, gets a butterflies.

00:39:41 And so shoot for is is definitely my favorite, favorite ski run outside of Utah anywhere in the world. Oh, my gosh.

00:39:49 I could go home for this favorite ski run. I know that has to be my favorite run by far. And Away, which I grew up on, which I love, is West faced West Face on Katy, 22, at Squaw. That is when I go home and I think about skiing and I think about just having a love and a passion for my sport. It is it is West Face ski hero growing up. Oh, my gosh. Well, there's you know, there's so many. But I I've got to say, the two people that inspired me the most were Johnny Mosley and Donna Wayne. I mean, that girl is just she just has a soul that is magic. And watching her ski and knowing her personally, she is as beautiful as a skier, as her personality, as her blonde hair. So those two are my favorites.

00:40:37 Do you remember watching Donna in 1992 owning the gold medal in Albertville? First moguls, gold medalist.

00:40:44 Oh, my gosh. I remember watching her and we had it on VHS tape on loop de loop, you know, behind. Please rewind on in Squaw Valley in our freestyle locker room. We just watched that every single day.

00:40:59 Inspirational. Inspirational. Yep. Best on mountain lunch.

00:41:04 Best OTWELL. We just talked about one while one. And then the other one.

00:41:08 I well, it's it's a tough choice between Royal Street and in the Stine's buffet. I mean, I got to be honest. That's a that's a magical buffet. You got to wear your big girl panties, though, when you go there. You got to unbutton your pants and you can go for it. Do you like fireside dining? Oh, that is my. It's one of my favorite dinner spots. I always tell people you have to do that, that in a little sleigh ride with the kids. It is it not only is it incredible food, but it is one of the best experiences that you can have with your family.

00:41:39 Favorite movie. Favorite movie. Oh, my gosh, troll's. Right.

00:41:44 Because I feel like that's that's my life in a nutshell.

00:41:48 And because we're in the spirit elf. That is my favorite movie. And a little side note of that. I was in New York City when they were filming it. So I got to see Will Ferrell like running through downtown New York. And I'm like, what do you do online?

00:42:04 And then, you know, a couple of years later, it comes out and I'm like, oh, my gosh, we saw that most notable celebrity that you've skied with.

00:42:12 Oh, my gosh. The most notable while I've skied with a couple. But I think my favorite person that I've ever skied with was Sara Blakely from Spanx one, because she is one of the kindest people I've ever met, but because she is one of my biggest inspirations in in business. So it was just incredible to be in her presence and and just being complete. Ah.

00:42:43 Where do you keep your two Olympic medals?

00:42:47 Where do I keep my. Well, sometimes I forget about them and I don't know where I put them. Sometimes I accidentally leave them in the glove box of my car. Sometimes they're in my sock drawer. Sometimes they're under a couch cushion. It's just depending on where Zoe and Tucker put them. And it's a little scary because they always come up missing and are still special to hold them for you, isn't it? It is. It is incredible. I always. And I really can't believe they're mine. So I bring them to all the places that I speak so that other people can hold them because what's an Olympic medal if it's not used for inspiration? It should be shared. Yep, it should be shared.

00:43:26 Favorite ski outfit.

00:43:29 Oh, OK. Well, so I have been lucky enough to ski for Rossignol for the last like 10 or 11 years. And I ski for a line called JCC. So he's this French designer. His name is John Charles de Castile Björk. He is amazing. So I have an entire closet of incredible ski outfits. But my favorite one is this. It's this white jacket and it has these red lips all over it. They're smiling lips. And every time I wear it, I get kids and adults alike that they're just like, that is. Most ridiculous jacket I've ever seen, but it makes me smile and I like I know, but it works for you. It is. It is made my job the best. So that is my favorite jacket that I get to wear out is just making people smile.

00:44:16 Last question. This is the one where you're gonna break the mold. Oh, groomers, powder glades or moguls. Oh, powder.

00:44:24 You're taking powder over Modell's. Oh, heck yeah. I've loved moguls my whole life.

00:44:29 Now I've got to I've got to, you know, complete knee, knee reconstruction. Another one. I mean, Poutre is where at my ripe age of 25, Teekay that I want to spend my time.

00:44:43 I know you were gonna be the one guest this year that would go for Moghul.

00:44:46 Well, I figured if it was gonna be one guest, you would probably me. No. How about can I say this is powder moguls?

00:44:53 Well, that's cool. I can do that. You do that. Okay. That's what I while1 changing my answer.

00:44:57 Loss Boulder powder moguls are just the they're they're they're user friendly and so fun.

00:45:04 This has been a blast. Shannah, thank you so much for joining us on last year.

00:45:07 Thank you, T.K.. Thank you for everything you do for our sport and and just everybody. We love you and you're awesome. And thank you for everything.

00:45:16 I'm just like you. I'm just having fun. Hey, it's the holidays and we'll have a lot of guests from around the world here in Utah this week to enjoy the greatest snow on earth. So be patient. She helped to show them a good time here in our mountain, sent from all of us at Ski, Utah. Have a wonderful holiday. I'm Tom Kelly. Your host for Ski, Utah's last chair. I'll see you on the slopes.

comments