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MCC’s Bradie Tennell shines bright in Olympics

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MCC’s Bradie Tennell shines bright in Olympics

Bradie Tennell of Carpentersville rose to stardom on the way to the Winter Olympics

Bradie Tennell of Carpentersville rose to stardom on the way to the Winter Olympics

Tim Bradbury

Bradie Tennell of Carpentersville rose to stardom on the way to the Winter Olympics

Tim Bradbury

Tim Bradbury

Bradie Tennell of Carpentersville rose to stardom on the way to the Winter Olympics

By Robert Ragsdale, Staff Writer

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McHenry County College student Bradie Tennell earned a bronze medal in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games in the team figuring skating event and finished 9th in the women’s singles.

Tennell, 20, is a figure skater who represented Team USA in the women’s short program where her 5th place finish was enough to put the U.S. into medal contention and ultimately earn them a bronze medal.

In the women’s single program Tennell came in 9th place, finishing in first among the US women.

Tennell has vaulted into the limelight recently.  Just a few months ago most assumed she would not even  make the team.

Growing up in Carpentersville, she began ice skating at the age of two. The passion caught on quickly as she can recall begging her mother to take her to lessons. Despite the interest from such a young age, being an Olympic level skater did not always seem like a reality. Twice in the last three years she has been sideline for stress fractures in her back, the injuries landing her in back braces for months at a time completely disrupting her ability to train.

Following the injuries, Tennell had fallen out off the lists of Olympic hopefuls. That was until this past November, when she took home a bronze medal in her debut in the ISU Grand Prix, the major leagues of figure skating. She became the first American woman in a decade to medal in their Grand Prix debut. After her performance there, her rise into stardom kicked off at lightning fast speeds. She followed that performance up with a nearly flawless routine at the U.S. national championships this past January, which secured her spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Since her routine at the U.S. national championships she has gained a nickname, Cinderella. Partly because of her Cinderella themed free skate set to music from the film where she wears a blue dress similar to Cinderella’s in the film, Tennell has always loved Cinderella since she was a child she told Ice Network. The themed skate is not the only reason for the nickname however, Tennell is also in every way, a Cinderella story.

Just three short months ago it seemed like there was no chance she’d be going to these Olympics and that she’d better start preparing for Beijing in 2022. These last few months have been an incredible rise to the top of the figure skating world, not unlike the rise to fame that U.S. figure skater Tara Lipinski had just twenty years ago. Who, at the time, was a completely unknown skater when she shocked the world and took home gold in 1998. Could it happen again?

Speaking with fellow MCC students, such as sophomore Blake Dust, most were surprised to hear that the small local school was home to an Olympic athlete. “I did not believe it at first,” said Dust.

Tennell took the stage this week with many more prominent skaters, team USA’s own Mirai Nagasu has gotten the majority of the media spotlight so far during these games for being the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Tennell may not have a triple axel in her back pocket, but she proved at the U.S. nationals just a month ago that when she gives her best performance, she can easily make it into medal contention.

 

 

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MCC’s Bradie Tennell shines bright in Olympics