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Aug 07, 2018

Pride Defines Olympic Snowboarder Meghan Tierney

By Felecia Stratton

While the United States is proud of snowboarder Meghan Tierney for representing her country at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tierney is similarly proud of growing up in Monmouth County. She attended Point Road School in Little Silver, and Deane-Porter and Forrestdale in Rumson.

“I’m proud to be from an area that is super supportive of me and my athletic achievements,” she said. “I always love coming back here, and being around my family and the friends I grew up with.”

Snowboarder Meghan Tierney

Now 21 years old, Tierney began snowboarding at age 10. “On weekends, my dad would take the family to Vermont to go skiing,” she recalled. “But when my siblings became snowboarders, I figured I would give it a try. I started competing when I was about 12 years old.”

To allow Tierney and her siblings – Chris, Daniel and Makayla – to further their snowboarding training, her family relocated to Edwards, Colorado. There, Tierney attended the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy for her first two years of high school, and then transferred to the International Snowboard Training Center.

At the junior level, Tierney placed fourth in snowboard cross at the 2014 FIS Junior World Championships and 15th at the 2016 FIS Junior World Championships.

Tierney’s burgeoning athletic career reached a turning point in November 2016, when she fell during a training camp in Austria, and was forced to miss the rest of the 2016-17 season.

Although she broke the L3 vertebrae in her back, Tierney said the injury had more of a mental than physical effect on her. “Obviously, I had to do a lot of physical therapy,” she said. “But what was more challenging was getting over the fear of getting hurt again.

Meghan Tierney
“At one point I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to snowboard the way I used to,” she noted. “But it turns out the injury was the best thing that happened to my career because it pushed me that much harder to not just be able to do what I could before, but to do it better.”

When she returned to competition for the 2017-2018 season, Tierney placed 25th and 31st in her first World Cup races. She finished the final World Cup race before Olympic selection in seventh, the top-placing American woman at the event. And then it was off to Pyeongchang.

Tierney said the highlights of participating in the Winter Olympics were having her family with her in South Korea, and representing her country. “I think it only sunk in that I was at the Olympics when I walked into the opening ceremony,” she said.

When Tierney is not snowboarding, she enjoys surfing and hiking.

As for the future, Tierney’s goals include attending at least one or two more Olympics, and hopefully coming home with a medal.

“I would also like to get into real estate and interior designing during my down time,” she said. “Now that I reached one of my goals – going to the Olympics – I can try to accomplish some other non-athletic goals.”