Halvorsen Recognized with Buddy Werner Sportsmanship Award
Steamboat Springs native Buddy Werner is a legend - one of only two Americans to ever win the fabled Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria. But beyond his prowess as a ski racer, Werner was known mostly as a favorite teammate who put sportsmanship above all. He died tragically in an avalanche at St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1964. Each year since 1966, an athlete has been honored for their own contributions to sportsmanship.
Part of being a team member is always being a team member! Hannah Halvorsen (Truckee, Calif./Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Team), who was nominated by her teammates, is a rising young star on the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team and a Junior World Championships medalist. On the eve of the season, Halvorsen was struck by a car while crossing the road. While she battled for her life in a hospital and later rehabbed at the Center of Excellence, she put her teammates first.
From the moment she regained consciousness, she made sure her teammates knew. As the season progressed, she maintained encouraging dialogue from afar - always a part of the team. She used her life-altering situation to invigorate her teammates and the entire cross country community, carrying her message of positive thinking and goal setting to junior skiers as a means of inspiring them to greater heights. Through it all, Halvorsen says she has learned patience and appreciating small gains. She knows that when she can race again she’ll appreciate it more than ever before.
“This award immediately confirmed my suspicions that I am surrounded by a very loving bunch,” said Halvorsen. “Throughout this difficult season of injury, I haven't gone a week without hearing from at least one of my teammates. Thank you to my teammates - not only for voting me for the Buddy Werner Award but for never forgetting about me. You guys are where I learned the value of sportsmanship.”