Hanna Faulhaber competes at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 on Jan. 20, 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- When watching Hanna Faulhaber compete at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, you would not notice anything out of the ordinary.
It is not until after she claims bronze in the women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe event, when she pulls back the sleeves of her coat, that the purple cast on her right hand becomes noticeable.
“I was training in Austria and was hitting the air bag, and I practically face-planted into the halfpipe wall, which wasn’t good,” Faulhaber said with a laugh. “I thought I broke it but I didn’t.”
Faulhaber injured her scaphoid bone - a bone important for wrist movement - and was instructed to put her hand in a cast to avoid fully breaking the bone and needing surgery.
So she took the safe route by competing in a cast during the Youth Olympic Games, but fortunately, it does not change much to her routine.
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“We went to the hospital and molded the cast into my poles so I can still ski with poles,” Faulhaber said. “We made sure that it wouldn’t affect my skiing.”
Faulhaber was seemingly unphased by the cast during her Youth Olympic Games debut.
In the women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe competition, Faulhaber added another medal to Team USA’s tally, taking home bronze.
Faulhaber opened up competition with a score of 63.33, but bested her score on the second run, earning 77.33. Her score of 77.33 held through the third run, earning her the bronze medal.
“I really didn’t expect any of that,” Faulhaber said. “I’m in shock.”
The shock of winning a medal for Team USA will inevitably fade and become a true reality. But for Faulhaber, she is hopeful the big platform at the Youth Olympic Games will continue to inspire the future generation of skiers.
“We’re always looking to get more younger girls to compete in the sport because there are not many girls in the sport, but it’s good, because it’s growing.”