I was born and raised in beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA to two of the most wonderful parents anyone could ask for. I also have a younger brother named Scotty (fun fact - he was a member of the U.S. Freestyle Aerial Team and we competed together at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver). Lake Tahoe was the perfect place to grow up in for a girl with lots of energy, enthusiasm and a love of the outdoors. I grew up climbing trees, swimming in our crystal clear lake, rolling blading down steep mountain passes, mountain biking, playing soccer, little league baseball and of course in the cold winter months - skiing.
I always loved being outdoors in the sunshine with my friends but never wanted to be a competitive athlete. Sure, I'd watched the Olympics but always thought that everyone on TV was special and possessed a quality or several qualities that I did not have. However, when I was 12, the coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team, Ray DeVre, approached me about joining their team and my first response was "NO WAY." I hated moguls and more than that, I tried to avoid them at all costs when I was skiing with my friends.
Luckily, I made the U.S. Ski Team that very year and never looked back. My entire 12 year career I was a member of the U.S. "A" Team, won the Overall World Cup title in 2003, had 7 World Cup victories, 26 World Cup podiums, 6 U.S. National titles, member of 6 World Championship Teams with 2 medals, member of 3 Olympic teams and brought home a silver medal in 2002 as well as a bronze medal in 2010. During that time period, as most athletes encounter, I had to overcome 2 major knee surgeries as well as a broken jaw. All in all, almost 2 and a half years sidelined with injury. Phew, a lot of hard work and dedication, but some of the best years of my life!!
After a few months of trying to convince me I finally said yes. Instantly I fell in love with the sport of freestyle, all of the friends I had made and maybe the most important part - getting to leave school at noon every day to go practice!! Things slowly progressed for me and eventually I made the big move to Salt Lake City when I graduated from high school in 1998. There were several opportunities that awaited me there - I was attending a World Class University - University of Utah, I was a walk on tryout for their Division 1 soccer team (turns out that I am terrible at soccer in the grand scheme of things), the U.S. Ski Team was based in Park City, UT and if none of those worked out, I could hopefully make the University of Utah Marching Band as a trumpet player.
STARTING UP (AND SUCCESSFULLY SELLING) MY FIRST COMPANY - SILVER BEAN COFFEE CO.
When I met my future husband, Matt Happe, in 2004, he started up and owned his own bike shop, Revolution. I was always extremely proud of what he had built and knew that at some point I wanted to own my own business as well. We always talked about what that venture would be and after numerous discussions and reading business plans we settled on coffee. He loved roasting and working through processes in the warehouse and I loved the atmosphere of coffee. I had traveled all over the world and somehow, in most countries I had visited, coffee was a constant in gathering friends together. So it was settled - in the future we would start our business one day. That day came sooner than I would realize. In 2008 I crashed in Tignes, France doing a d spin and needed to have major knee surgery again. As I lay in the snow crying, it hit me that I could go home, get surgery and we could start up our business. I would do rehab in the morning and evening and during the day we would work on getting everything in place to start up Silver Bean Coffee. Our company was named after my silver medal in 2002 and we thought we might be able to change it to Gold Bean Coffee in 2010 if I were to bring home the gold medal, lol. Silver Bean Coffee was a wholesale business that roasted, packaged and distributed fresh roasted coffee from all over the world to local and national businesses. Our coffee fueled athletes that were training at the Olympic Training Centers, atheltes that worked out at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association's Center of Excellence, visitors from all over the world that came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and even guests at the most luxurious properties and hotels around the country. We also owned and opperated 3 coffee shops in Salt Lake City and Park City and had a blast serving latte's made with love!! In 2013 our priorities shifted as we welcomed a little girl into our world and all of the sudden we wanted more time to be with her. We sold the majority share of our business in 2015 to one of our fabulous distributors Brog Distributors, Inc. and they still carry on the quality of coffee, the extraordinary customer service as well as the integrity of our brand we worked so hard for. We are definitely going to start another business one day and who knows what it will be, but we are both entrepreneurs at heart and know we'll get the business bug again soon!!
FINALLY.......... I'M A MOMMY!
I am currently a Mommy to a 5 year old little girl and 9 month old little boy. They are changing my world for the better each and every day. I am trying to lead by example how to live a fit, active and healthy lifestyle. I know how important it is to explore our beautiful mountains and cherish the moments we live in not the things we own.
STARTING UP THE COMPANY OF MY DREAMS - TEAM EMPOWER HOUR
In 2017, I decided I couldn't wait any longer, I needed to spread my wings again and see if I could create something magical. I know I have found my true place in life - connecting with people, inspiring and empowering them to be their absolute best, while providing jobs for both Olympic hopefuls and newly retired Olympians. We are a corporate team building company with a twist! We help companies and their people Dream Big, Plan Meticulously & Execute Brilliantly!!
SKI CHAMPION FOR DEER VALLEY RESORT
I have the best job in the world as a Ski Champion for Deer Valley Resort! I have the privilege of taking guests and corporate clients skiing at one of America's Top Rated Resorts. I get to share my passion for skiing, sunshine, smiles and snow - lots of snow!!
Member of 3 Olympic Teams (2002, 2006, 2010)
Bronze Medal in Vancouver, CAN, 2010
Silver Medal in Salt Lake City, UT, 2002
Member of 6 World Championship Teams
2nd place Madonna di Campiglio, ITA 2007
3rd place Deer Valley, UT 2003
Member of U.S. Freestyle Ski Team for 12 years (1998-2010)
On "A" Team (top 10 in the world or higher) all 12 years
Over World Cup title, 2003
7 World Cup wins
26 World Cup podiums
U.S. National Championships
6 U.S. titles
Born: Nov. 7, 1980
From: Tahoe City, CA
Lives in: Salt Lake City, UT
Married on: 10-10-10
Married last name: Happe (pronounced Happy, wooo hooo)
Favorite place to compete: Japan & Deer Valley, UT
If I had a 3 foot powder day where would you find me: Squaw Valley USA (doing laps on KT 22)
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Sport (other than skiing): Mountain bikes & motorcycles
1 fact about me you would never guess: I HATE being cold!!
Place I would most like to visit: Bali
Most beautiful sunset I've ever seen: El Colorado, Chile
If I could be an Olympian in any other sport: Beach Volleyball or Tennis, I can't decide
Olympic Hero: Kristi Yamaguchi