Interview with Snowmama of Pro: Pat Teter

The content below was originally posted on our snowmamas blog but we think it's good enough to post here too! In honor of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, we began a series of interviews with the mamas of Olympic athletes. Snowmama Eileen Ogintz conducted the interviews.

I recently sat down with Pat Teter, mother of the famous Teter snowboarders, including Olympic gold medalist Hannah and competitors Elijah and Abe,  to chat about what it's like to be a mom to world-class athletes. Here is what she had to say. Hannah_teter  

Except for sledding and skating, I wasn’t involved in snowsports as a kid. My kids were introduced to skiing and later snowboarding through our local school starting in first grade—they had the option to go to the local mountains to learn to ski or ride once a week as part of PE for a nominal fee.

It was easy and the kids were thrilled to be a part of the program. Soon though, they wanted to be at the mountain more often and since it was so expensive, I ended up working at our local mountain, Okemo, so the kids could have passes. As they started competing, they progressed quickly and did well.

Taking kids to the mountains always requires a lot of work for parents. But any time with our kids is important, and to help be a part of that is truly valuable, no matter what they end up doing with the sport.

But it’s not always easy to watch them. With my first son, I actually experienced my first chest pain (was anxiety) watching him go off this huge big air jump at a competition with a bad landing, kids crashing everywhere, and I couldn't watch and had to leave the hill. This was during the early years of snowboarding and thank goodness the sport and the comps have greatly improved over the years. I have learned to thoroughly enjoy watching my kids compete.

At the beginning, I didn’t imagine they’d compete at such an elite level. It was just such a fun thing for them to do as a sport, and the snowboarding group was so supportive of each other. It just felt right, and had the added benefit of them focusing on healthy life styles to be better athletes.

Snowboarding is like a big family, and all about the joy of the sport.

I would never push my kids to do any sport they didn't want to do. But if this is something your kids want to do, go for it, and try it yourselves too. It's alot of fun, and anything we can do as family is so important.

Any way to be together as family is fine by us!


Hannah will be competing in the 2010 Winter Olympic Halfpipe Competition on Thursday, February 18. Tune in and cheer her quest for Gold!