Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter Rides for Charity

Hannah Teter
As the 2014 Winter Olympics rolled on, it was easy to focus on the medal counts, media stories and endless hours of event coverage. The competition is fierce and perfection and patriotism motivate many of the athletes. For some, like United States snowboarder Hannah Teter, the drive to succeed also has a humanitarian edge. Teter first won the gold in Turin at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She used this victory as the launching pad to start her charity, Hannah’s Gold maple syrup. The organization uses the profits from her maple syrup sales to benefit the Kenyan village of Kirindon, about 20 miles west of Nairobi. Teter partners with World Vision to support an effort reduce water-borne illness and provide the residents of Kirindon with clean drinking water. Teter’s motivation stems from personal experience, as she has traveled to Kirindon with friends and family. “I got to see the difference between having clean water to drink and having dirty, disease infested water that the kids were drinking…” she recounts on the Hannah’s Gold website. “I cannot express how thankful these community members and children were to have clean water.” Hannah’s Gold has raised more than $20,000 and the World Vision project has benefitted more than 40,000 people in the Kirindon community and beyond. The Olympian’s charitable efforts do not stop there. After a silver-medal victory in 2010 and short break from competition due to injury, Teter needed a fresh source of motivation to get back on track for the 2016 Games. Teter found this inspiration after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti crumbled the Caribbean nation. In response to the devastation, she founded Sweet Cheeks, an underwear line “that transforms style and consumption into help and hope for others in need,” according to the product website. The “Panties with a Purpose” fashion line partners with Children International and promises 40 percent of net profits to help children living in extreme poverty around the world. The partner organization focuses on developing sustainable communities and providing families with a holistic approach to health and nutrition. Children International currently works in more than 11 countries across the globe, bettering the lives of more than 350,000 impoverished children. Teter’s charitable heart goes hand in hand with her motivation to succeed as an athlete. “Since receiving the Gold Medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics,” she explains on Hannah’s Gold, “I now have the opportunity to pursue this dream and encourage others to find out how good it feels to give back.” Hopefully her humanitarian practice inspires athletic perfection at this year’s Winter Games as well. Hannah Teter’s “sweet” products can be purchased at Sweet Cheeks or Hannah’s Gold. – Mallory Thayer Sources: Sweet Cheeks, Hannah’s Gold, US Snowboarding, TIME Photo: Her Campus