For the first time in several years, Bradie Tennell is healthy for a full season – and it’s paying dividends.
She seemingly came out of nowhere to win a surprise bronze medal at the Skate America Grand Prix over Thanksgiving weekend. Then, she won a gold medal at the national championships in January and was named to her first Olympic team.
She debuted in PyeongChang for Team USA in figure skating’s team event. She competed her short program – set to a South Korean film soundtrack – and earned a bronze medal already in PyeongChang. But just being at the Olympics an accomplishment in itself, she said.
“Coming here was such an achievement for me,” she said in a recent press conference from PyeongChang. “This was the first season I was healthy on the seniors' circuit. I am super proud to have something to show how hard I have worked.”
For her 20th birthday in late January, United Airlines surprised Tennell’s family with a trip to the PyeongChang Olympics. Her mother and two brothers would be able to watch her compete at the Games.
Having them there able to watch is special for Tennell.
“My mom has worked hard to support me and my brother,” Tennell said. “She works nights as a nurse, right now she has two or three jobs at different hospitals, I am not sure. In my first year as a senior we lived in a two-bedroom one-bathroom apartment for a year.”