Hannah Turkington


I’m a 17-year-old competitive snowboarder with big dreams. My story starts when I was three, watching Maëlle Ricker win gold in snowboard-cross at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Bursting with excitement, I pointed at the TV and shouted at my parents, “That’s what I want to do!” Fast forward fourteen years and I’m well on my way. We moved to Whistler when I was seven and my snowboarding took off. I boarded with the Whistler Valley Snowboard Club until I was invited to join the BC Provincial Snowboard Cross Team at age twelve, its youngest athlete.

Of course, it hasn’t always been easy. After my first day of Grade One, I came home from school, crying, and asked my mom, “Why am I so dumb?” All the other kids knew how to read, but I didn’t. I felt like a loser. By Grade Two, I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. My reading was in the first percentile (meaning the worst), but my IQ was in the 87th percentile. As we learned more about my condition, I saw the gift of dyslexia. While I struggled with reading, I excelled in other areas – especially athletics, with my ability to read a soccer field or a bike trail or a snowboard racetrack. Over the years I’ve learned ways to cope with dyslexia; I no longer see it as a disadvantage. It’s my superpower! My dyslexia drives me to succeed, and proves to me I can overcome any obstacle. It’s a big reason I’ll make it to the Olympics. 

I fell in love with snowboard cross by age nine. If you haven’t seen snowboard cross, it’s a downhill racetrack on snow, where four riders start together and race over rollers and jumps. It’s like roller derby on snow and the winner is whoever crosses the finish line first. I loved the speed, the danger, the skill. By age eleven, I won all the Provincial and Western Canadian competitions I entered, including those against much older kids.  Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, I continued to race and train in a sport that I just continued to love.

The 2023-2024 season has been another year of progression. In my second year of racing at the higher level, I placed third overall on the North American circuit! I also had the opportunity to represent Canada at the Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, Korea. Such a phenomenal experience. I was pleased with my 5th overall result as the competition was stiff against the Europeans. My year was building to race in my first World Cup at Mont Ste Anne in Quebec. Unfortunately, I crashed in my first training run and sustained a significant concussion. Though the accident ended my season, I am on the road to recovery and looking forward to next year!


See you on the snow,