Hannah Kearney on Prepping for the Olympics

A reigning Olympic champion talks diet, exercise and sleep schedule before the Sochi Games.

Hannah Kearney

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Are you taking extra steps to stay healthy right now?

No – aside from trying to eat well and getting nine hours of sleep a night. I also take multivitamins, and I drink as much water as I can. And all those recovery and warmup workouts we do are an effort to prevent injuries.

But, you know, you're around tons of other people and on airplanes, so there's only so much you can do. And you can't look at this time and put extra pressure on it just because it's the Olympics. You have to settle into a routine years in advance and live as healthfully as you can beforehand – because making changes a month before the Olympics isn't going to make a difference.

How do you prepare yourself mentally to compete at such a high level?

Well, we're competing every year – not just Olympics years – so that's ultimately the best way. The Olympics is different because of all that attention and extra pressure, and how many people are in one spot, but I've been in the start gate a lot of times since the last Olympics. I don't think there's much you can do to prepare for the actual craziness of the Olympics, because it's unlike any other event. So you control what you can, which is your skiing, routine, habits and training. And those things you can't control – like how long the security line is, how long it takes to get a Visa and how many requests there are on your time – well, you handle those the best you can as they come to you.

What's it like to actually be at the Olympics? Do you have much time to yourself, and are you able to get enough sleep?

You have people who just want you to perform well who are helping you get things done. And in the past, the U.S. team rented our own house away from the venue – so we were in a quiet area and had our own bedrooms, and I got plenty of sleep. But at the same time, it's also exciting, so you really don't even need that much sleep while you're there, because you have so much adrenaline to run on.

What are you looking forward to the most about Sochi?

Absolutely competing, but also walking into the opening ceremonies. That's the one time Team USA is united as one, and the only time we'll be all together in one spot, in uniform. That feeling is unmatched by any of my life.

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