Followers of women’s figure skating are familiar with Bradie Tennell, but the casual Olympic viewer may not yet know who the blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman is. She’s skated to music from Cinderella, a Disney princess that she’s always loved. She’s the current U.S. national champion and has earned a spot on the Olympic team and will be competing in PyeongChang starting on Feb. 9. But what else is there to learn about Bradie Tennell?
1. Family comes first
Bradie Tennell’s mom, Jean, is a single mother, working two jobs to support her daughter and two sons (Austin and Shane). A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money so Bradie's brothers could go to South Korea to see big sister skate in the Olympics. And thanks to United Airlines' special birthday gift to Bradie (she turned 20 on Jan. 31), airfare is no longer an issue.
2. Not a fan of early wakeup calls
On her personal website, Tennell admits to not liking to get up early in order to train and practice. I can’t blame her — who likes to get up early?
3. Perserverance pays off
She struggled with back injuries in 2015 and '16. She suffered from stress fractures on her lumbar vertebra and needed to take a few months off. However, she recovered thanks to physical therapy, rest, Pilates, and support from her mother, according to an interview by IFS Magazine. She is healed and has been putting together some of her best routines heading into the Winter Olympics.
4. She was skating as soon as she could walk
On Tennell’s website, she admits that she isn’t even sure how she got started with figure skating. She was a toddler at the time and apparently requested to go ice skating. Most two-year-olds want Sesame Street, but that’s why most two-year-olds don’t end up in the Olympics.
5. She's still a typical 20-year-old
It should come as no suprise that Tennell has similar favorites to many other 20-year-old females. On her website, she lists her favorite TV show as Supernatural. She likes pink, purple and black. Her favorite animals are dogs, pandas and dolphins. Favorite foods? Ice cream, pizza and kiwi. And who wouldn’t turn down a strawberry milkshake from Portillo’s (she was born in Illinois and Portillo’s is a Chicago-based restaurant with locations primarily in Illinois)?
(Top photo courtesy of icenetwork.com)