Meghan Tierney should be used to traveling in a pack at this point. That’s part of the game in the sport of snowboardcross (often called bordercross or SBX). One rider is trying to be the first among a pack of four (or more) to the bottom of the hill, navigating steep terrain on a slalom-style course.
For her first Olympic Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Eagle resident will have a hoard of family from Colorado, her native New Jersey and beyond traveling with her.
“It’s going to be great with my whole family going,’’ Tierney told Stephen Edelson of app.com in January. “I couldn’t have done it without them, especially my parents and siblings. My parents gave up so much so we could do this, moving out to Colorado for everyone, and my brother taught me a lot. I’m just really thankful.”
Craig and Sandy Tierney moved their three children (all who are or were professional snowboarders) to Colorado so the kids could pursue their passion on the slopes.
Meghan, who graduated from Keystone School Online just last year, is making her first Olympic appearance and is part of a contingent of 31 athletes who call Colorado home, seven of them on the U.S. snowboarding team.
That pack mentality is in full effect already now that she’s arrived in South Korea. Tierney has posted several photos with her Team USA teammates to Instagram since landing at the Games. In fact, her account is full of photos and videos that not only celebrate her success on the slopes but show just what a social butterfly she can be.
That’s not to take away from what she’s accomplished in her sport, though.
Tierney claimed a fourth-place finish at the 2014 FIS Junior World Championships. A seventh-place finish this winter in the final Olympic qualifying World Cup race in Turkey was enough to book her spot on the U.S. team headed to South Korea.
It’s quite the accomplishment, considering she missed most of the 2016-17 season after breaking her back at a race in Austria.
Now fully recovered, Tierney is one of seven rookies on the snowboardcross / parallel giant slalom team representing the U.S. — just another pack to run with for the 21-year-old.
Ladies’ snowboardcross competition — two rounds of qualifying, quarterfinals, semifinals and two finals (small and big) — all take place on Feb. 16. It’s the one place where Tierney certainly wants to be ahead of the pack.