Dec 27, 2015 5:43 PM

Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney returns to Waterville Valley

WATERVILLE VALLEY - For the fifth year in a row, Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Kearney stopped by her old stomping grounds to meet and ski with young New Hampshire locals, encouraging them to reach for their own dreams.

"I've been skiing for about five years, and I've looked up to her for about three years now, and I'm just really excited to meet her," Hannah Mullaly said.

Hannah and her family drove from Massachusetts to meet their daughter's idol.

"She's one of my favorite athletes," Mullaly said. "I've always looked up to her, and I want to be a mogul skier just like her when I get older."

Ending her final season as a competing skier, Kearney has completed a long and successful career that started right in New Hampshire. A three-time Olympic athlete, she's won a gold medal as well as competing and winning in 10 World Cups.

"I'm focusing on what I won't miss so that I don't get too emotional about leaving behind something that was so singularly focused on goal setting. Working hard to accomplish those goals was really satisfying to me," Hannah Kearney said. "It's not like I looked at my runs and was like well, I'm perfect, I'm never going to improve, it was more that I didn't have the stamina and motivation. So for me, it was time to move on and I got really lucky and got to go out on top and that's sort of an athlete's dream."

Accomplishing her goals on the slopes, Hannah now is looking forward to new life challenges such as finishing her college degree at Westminster College.

"I will always be, and home will always be, the East coast," Kearney said.

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