Shannon Bahrke-Happe

Like many Olympic athletes, Shannon Bahrke began training for athletics at an early age. She donned her first pair of skis at the tender age of three. Bahrke was fortunate to grow up and live at a variety of geographic locations well-suited for winter sports.

She was born in Reno, Nevada to Dick and Trilla Bahrke, but grew up in Tahoe City, California. Her father's family is of Norwegian ancestry, and her grandparents live in Oslo, Norway. When Bahrke was in the seventh grade a high school coach convinced her to try alpine racing. Apparently it took some convincing, because the coach called her every day for two months, begging her to give freestyle a chance.

Having finally convinced her, Bahrke began to train and compete. She also managed to stay busy in high school. She stated that she had 24/7 activities, with soccer in the fall, skiing in the winter, softball and track in the spring, and she also played trumpet with the symphonic and jazz band.

She first competed at the World Cup in 1999, finishing second place in dual moguls. From 1999 through to 2002 she placed highly at seven World Cup events, including two victories. In 2002 she was invited to join the U.S. Olympic Team for the Salt Lake Olympic Games. She won the silver medal, then went on to win the World Cup Championship.

Injuries interrupted her career during 2004 and 2005, but by the end of 2005 she was once again on the slopes, qualifying for a spot on the US team going to the Torino Winter Olympics. She won a bronze medal in women's moguls freestyle at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Bahrke also has a head for business. While she was recuperating from injuries she founded Silver Bean Coffee, a Salt Lake City-based coffee company, with her fiance Matt Happe. The company features coffee blends named for Olympic athletes and a portion of the profits go to the athelete's charity of choice.

Known for her glittery eye makeup on the slopes, Bahrke was also a student at the University of Utah. After the 2006 Olympics she bought her first home and took a summer to remodel it. She enjoys windsurfing, biking, water skiing, and shopping. Her personal quote is "Success is failure turned inside out." Her favorite places to ski are Lake Tahoe and Utah. Her sponsors include Sprint, Home Depot, Advocare, Bolle, Giro, and I Sport. Bahrke has a younger brother, Scott, who is a World Cup champion aerialist skier.