Shannon Bahrke began life in Lake Tahoe, CA, the perfect backdrop for a kid with an abundance of energy and a great love for the outdoors. She thrived in sunshine and relished the winter months where she could ski: all precursors to the life she would go on to live.
She showed promise as a skier growing up, as a great way to channel her effort and energy, but she never thought she would be a competitive athlete. That is, until the coach of the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team, Ray DeVre, asked her to join in and compete as a skier. She was skeptical but eventually took the challenge and said yes.
As she developed as a skier, she discovered that the sport is her passion. As she advanced through competition, she found her vision. With all the personality and determination she had, she went all in and began setting goals, planning, and racking up successes in the sport.
Her vision and commitment led to great victories, showing her that she could accomplish whatever she set her mind to. She won the Overall World Cup title, seven World Cup victories, six national titles. She has competed in the Olympics three times, winning two Olympic medals. Winning acclaim as a world-class athlete, she developed a strong mentor and support system in her coach, her teammates, and people to surround herself with to celebrate successes. But it wasn’t without hardship that Shannon achieved her goals.
Throughout her time as a championship skier, she spent a combined total of three years out of commission from competition and suffered multiple injuries. She persevered through the pain and didn’t let those setbacks slow her down.
After retiring from her career as an elite athlete, she found herself with a challenge many of us face when looking into the future: Where to go from here? The excitement of pursuing her goals and triumphing in the most competitive sporting environment possible began to fade, and she felt somewhat aimless, where before, her purpose was clear.
Shannon cultivated a new vision toward helping people guide their enthusiasm to pursue their dreams, realize their vision, and achieve the goals by connecting them with PASSION.
After starting and successfully selling her own coffee company, Silver Bean Coffee Co., she formed Team Empower Hour, an organization composed of Olympic athletes, both retired and practicing, as well as Olympic hopefuls. Their mission is to motivate people to focus and harness their passion and drive to achieve what they may only think of as wild aspirations now. But anyone who has the pleasure of hearing Shannon speak will come away understanding the value of embracing your passion and DREAMING BIG.
Shannon tours the world, and her team of Olympic athletes do the same, inspiring people to take action, plan, and persevere. Her greatest personal achievements may have come in the form of Olympic medals, entrepreneurship, and writing a children’s book. But beyond creating a legacy her family can be proud of, her biggest win is empowering young women around the world to embrace who they are and pursue their passion. You might begin with climbing trees, swimming in lakes, and rollerblading as a child, but you, too, can channel to the heights of success throughout your life — living your dreams and embracing challenges.