Teter a Favorite At Championships
Here’s the scoop: Production of snowboarder Hannah Teter’s featured ice cream flavor has been frozen for the moment.
Don’t worry just yet, though, “Maple Blondie” could very well be back in stores before the 2014 Sochi Games.
The Ben & Jerry’s flavor named after the two-time Olympic medalist from Vermont is simply on a break.
Teter the snowboarder certainly hasn’t been on hiatus.
These days, she bounces from one project to the next. Teter serves as an ambassador for the Special Olympics, oversees her charity, “Hannah’s Gold,” and launched an underwear line that donates a chunk of its sales to help kids in need.
Between all of that, she also finds time to snowboard. Teter is working on some innovative tricks, too, which she will unveil at the U.S. Open snowboarding championships todayin Vail, Colo.
It’s as good a time as any, especially with Sochi around the corner and the talent in the halfpipe at an all-time high.
“I’m going to need them,” said Teter, who earned a spot in the final of the event backed by Burton with a solid qualifying run on Thursday.
After all, Kelly Clark keeps soaring higher and higher in the pipe and Gretchen Bleiler is steadily working her way back into top form after a serious eye injury she suffered in a training mishap last summer.
Then there’s the emergence of Arielle Gold, a 16-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colo., who won at the snowboard world championships in Quebec last month. “We’re taking it to the next level,” Teter said of her American teammates.
Teter is one of the faces of snowboarding after winning gold at the 2006 Turin Games and silver four years later in Vancouver.
That success opened a platform for her to become more involved in social causes because, “I felt an obligation to do something else besides just snowboard and compete. I needed to add another dimension, a more powerful one.”
Lately, her schedule has been jammed with activities.
Teter recently ventured to Pyeongchang, South Korea, site of the 2018 Winter Games, to support Special Olympics. She stood up before 300 leaders and delivered a speech on how the competition could gain more visibility, even suggesting that maybe it could be partnered with the Winter X Games.
“Everyone loved that idea. My goal now is to make that happen,” the 26-year-old Teter said. “I want to be the voice and a face of this cause.”
Just one of many for the burgeoning social activist.
Her charity has raised more than $300,000 for a clean water project in the town of Kirindon, Kenya. Most of those funds come from her prize earnings and through sales of maple syrup.
In addition, Teter also started an underwear line called “Sweet Cheeks,” along with snowboarder Gabi Viteri and surfers Alana Blanchard and Monyca Byrne-Wickey. Sales of the briefs benefit Children International, which helps feed children living in poverty.
“We were just trying to be creative with a product that everyone needs,” Teter explained. “All this creates a greater appreciation of how lucky I am to be a pro snowboarder and to travel and compete. Sometimes, you need to revamp yourself over the winter, participate in things that make you appreciate what you have.
“Once I get my mind set on something, I want to see it succeed at the highest level.”
As for her Ben & Jerry’s flavor, well, she’s hoping it can make a comeback.
Teter’s featured version was made out of maple ice cream — a nod to her Vermont upbringing — with blonde brownie pieces and a maple caramel swirl. It appeared just before the 2010 Vancouver Games and really marked the first time the ice cream company named one after an athlete.
Maybe soon “Maple Blondie” can be right up there again with best-sellers such as “Cherry Garcia” or “Chunky Monkey” or “Chubby Hubby.”
Said Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman Liz Stewart in an email: “Ben & Jerry’s flavors aren’t unlike Olympic athletes: the cream rises to the top! It’s still too soon to say for sure whether we’ll bring Maple Blondie back or not, but like we always say around here, “never say never!”
Teter is keeping her fingers crossed.
“Everyone I talk to is like, ‘When is it coming back? It’s my favorite,’” Teter said. “When it first came out, it was a top-five flavor. I’m hoping that next year, they’re going to bring it back for the Olympics.”
On the Web: www.hannahsgold.com