Sean Hartel: Competitive Freestyle Skier
Sean Hartel Bio
Sean started skiing when he was only 2 years old. He grew up on the East Coast and devoted his time on the slopes to moguls and downhill skiing. Then he discovered freestyle. He started skiing in freestyle competitions as a teenager. Sean moved to Lake Tahoe to attend Sierra Nevada College and, of course, for the snow. But his competitive run was cut short when he was 18. While he was doing a trick during a competition, he hit his face on a rail. The injury caused brain damage and impairments in his speech and vision for a year. “That scared me away from freestyle skiing and jumping,” Sean says. “I stopped jumping for the rest of college. I wasn’t ever going to pick up skiing competitively again.”
But he just couldn’t stay away from the snow. Sean spent the next four years coaching a freestyle team for 12-18 year olds while he finished his degree. He loved being around his team and watching them progress and succeed in the sport – one of the boys he coached is the #1 freestyle skier in the world under age 18. Sean also says his skiers are the ones that got him back into competitive skiing. “They made fun of me, told me I was an old guy and couldn’t do anything,” he remembers. “So I had to show them up.” He entered the New Zealand Open in 2007, and even though he hadn’t competed in four years, walked away in 7th place. A week later, Sean competed in the World Cup Halfpipe, also in New Zealand, and won 3rd place. Sean admits, “It’s been a struggle to be one of the newcomers.” But in less than a year, he went from not competing at all to placing in events where he competed with some of the sport’s top stars. “I’ve gotten such good feedback from people in the industry over the past few months,” he says. “I have an incredibly fast learning curve, and I’m working to develop myself as a pro athlete and build up my reputation in the sport.”
Sean and Twinlab®
Because his sport is so demanding, Sean understands the value of good nutrition. He takes Twinlab® Daily One Caps™ every day, and also supplements his diet with creatine, whey protein and amino acid products from the Twinlab® Fuel® line. For an extra boost, Sean uses Pure Energy Greens with MSM from Twinlab’s Anthony Robbins Inner Balance line of products. He also enjoys Pure Fuel, Twinlab’s energy drink, for refreshment and energy that won’t slow him down. “The products have definitely made a difference in my performance,” Sean says. To train on a Superpipe (a 600 foot half pipe), skiers have to hike to the top with their gear on their backs before they can try out their tricks. Then, once they finish a run, they have to hike to the top all over again. “I get double the amount of jumps as the others because I can hike faster, and I have better endurance,” Sean says.
Twinlab® is proud to sponsor Sean and wishes him the best of luck during this competitive season. Check out his blog here.