ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The U.S. Ski and Snowboard team recognized Alaska Pacific University cross-country skier Hannah Halvorsen with the Buddy Werner Sportsmanship Award after being nominated by her teammates.
The past three years Halvorsen has pursued a degree in psychology at A.P.U. and trained with the school's ski team. The 22-year-old has medaled at the World Junior Championships and made her debut at the World Cup. She looked to build on that success heading into the 2020 ski season before she was struck by a car crossing the road in Anchorage on November 1, 2019.
Right after the accident, she was taken to the intensive care unit of a local hospital suffering a skull fracture, brain bleeding, tibia fracture, and torn ligaments in her knee.
"Thing is I don't remember much from the whole week before the accident,” said Halvorsen. "So many doctor appointments, so many specialists checking in on me, it was a lot, but I also felt really taken care of."
Ten days after the accident Halvorsen flew from Anchorage to Vail, Colorado for knee surgery.
"That first month I didn’t really think about how I lost my ski season I was getting over this overwhelming experience of almost dying," shared Halvorsen.
Since Halvorsen couldn't compete she became her teammate’s biggest supporter and says the accident help put her skiing career into perspective.
“I have a greater appreciation for being in the moment,” Halvorsen said.
Since December, Halvorsen has been going to physical therapy and continues working towards a full recovery in her hometown of Truckee, California.
She plans to return to APU on June 10th for the teams skiathlon fundraiser to help raise money and awareness for road safety.
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