Teters totter on brink of stardom 

Siblings feed off each other on their way to the top

During the commotion at this year’s World Ski and Snowboard Festival superpipe finals, onlookers could be forgiven for thinking the announcer had a stutter because he kept repeating the name Teter.

Teter this, Teter that… fortunately for the announcer’s sake, most people quickly realized there were three Teters competing and they were all doing their best to dazzle the crowd.

Abe Teter, 25, is the most experienced rider in the family and clearly the family spokesman. When Abe competes he consistently gets further out of the pipe than anyone else, but he’s not big on complicated tricks, which is why he finished 24 th in the final.

Elijah, 20, has less to say publicly but he had a great season on the international circuit, finished sixth in the superpipe and is just as good, if not better, than his older brother.

Then there’s Hannah who has been tagged as the next big thing in snowboarding.

In person, Hannah is a fairly regular 17-year-old chatterbox with blonde hair and blue eyes who’s just bursting with positive energy.

What’s not regular about Hannah, and indeed her older brothers, is the fact that they are among the best snowboarders in the world and they’re all working towards representing the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics.

Hannah was the talk of Whistler after the women’s superpipe final but she became a downright celebrity after the superhit contest, which is a contest usually dominated by men.

Hannah finished second in the superpipe because she landed some of her tricks awkwardly. She didn’t win the superhit either, but she definitely made some of the men humble along the way.

While Hannah’s antics had the crowd jumping, the other inspiring thing about her and her family is the way they treat and motivate each other to do better.

Abe said there was really no other group of people he’d rather be competing with.

"It’s good travelling with these guys because we really get along and I don’t have to question what’s going on," Abe said as he sat next to his brother and sister.

"You know with some guys you’re not sure what the deal is or what motives they have, but with the fam it’s fine."

Hannah conceded she had always looked up to her older brothers.

"I just wanted to go on all the adventures with them, it was like, ‘take me, take me’," Hannah said.

"But it definitely helps you gain more focus when your brothers are killing it."

On this point Abe concurred wholeheartedly with his sister.

"It’s the reverse for us too, because it picks you up pretty quick when you see Hannah going bigger than most of the guys."

While they are similar in a lot of ways, both in and out of the pipe, they each have different approaches to competing.

Hannah just wanted to have "fun because it’s been such a long year on the contest circuit."

Elijah wanted to refine some new tricks and focus on becoming a better all-round rider, whereas Abe’s goals were centred more on improving stamina and overall riding power.

U.S. Snowboarding Team manager Mike Jankowski accompanied the Teters to Whistler and he said helping them improve was just a process of keeping them healthy and together.

"All three of them have similar styles and I think they all have their strengths, but they have a lot of them; we just try and keep them healthy," Jankowski said.

"We use the energy they already have to keep it going in a positive direction. We don’t really ‘train’ as they say; we just ride and have fun and push each other."

Jankowski spoke of the Teter’s family bond and noted that they were always pushing each other.

"It’s subtle and unsaid or unspoken a lot of the time, it’s just a special family bond and they are fortunate to have that.

"They’re all so talented and good people but I think they’re very much in tune with each other, having fun in that way, but also pushing themselves."

The coming season is a vital one for all the countries wanting to compete in the 2006 Games because they must obtain their team quotas, and Jankowski confirmed the Teters would be a big part of the U.S. team’s bid.

"We want to do a lot of stuff early to secure our quota spots so we don’t have to do it in the middle of the year.

"Hannah in particular is special and extremely gifted in the world of women’s snowboarding, she’s definitely in the top two or three for sure and on the right day she’s the best women in the world.

"But Elijah’s still young and progressing, I mean he did two switch-backside-nines in the final, which is one of the hardest tricks to do."

The Teters will be competing next in Mammoth in May and they will be back in Whistler with the rest of the U.S. Snowboard Team for the World Snowboarding Championships in 2005.

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