Austin and Shane Tennell are the brothers of Olympic figure skater, Bradie Tennell. All three Tennell children were raised by their mother Jean. Jean Tennell was a single mother, and Bradie has described the family’s closeness in interviews.
Bradie Tennell is being closely watched in Pyeongchang as she is considered to have a chance to medal. That has a lot of people wondering more about the brothers of the young figure skater from Carpentersville, Illinois. The siblings’ father is named Brad Tennell, and the parents are divorced.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bradie Tennell’s Brothers Are Hockey Players
The entire Tennell family is comfortable on the ice, but Bradie’s brothers have gone in a different direction. They play hockey. Bradie Tennell “has two brothers Austin, 15, and Shane, 13, who are both hockey players,” IceNetwork.com reports.
Austin and Shane are Bradie’s younger brothers. In 2016, the siblings’ mother, Jean, posted a photo of medals on Facebook. “Three winners in the Tennell family today!!!! Shane and Austin’s team win the Chicago Thanksgiving Classic Midget/Minor/JV Hockey Tournament as Bradie wins Third Place at the Tallinn Trophy in Estonia. Congratulations!!!” she wrote.
A friend responded, “Congratulations to all 3 of your children. It just shows in the dedication, hard work & effort that they put into their work. You do have to be one ‘Proud Mama’. Keep up the good work.😊🎉👍”
2. United Airlines Flew Bradie’s Family to Pyeongchang
The story of the Bradie Tennell family is well-known in Illinois, where it’s painted as Bradie’s scrappy single mother raising three children on a nurse’s salary. Now, a major airline has stepped up to make sure the family could afford to travel to South Korea to watch Bradie skate. It’s no small expense.
According to The Chicago Tribune, “United Airlines surprised the figure skater on her birthday Wednesday (she turned 20) by informing her that the company is flying her family to Pyeongchang.”
Tennell told The Chicago Tribune of the gift: ““Well, my mom is crying. I think they’re (her brothers) in shock a little bit, but I can’t believe it. I’m so incredibly grateful.”
There was a GoFundMe page for the same cause that has raised more than $12,000. It’s headlined “Help Bradie’s Brothers.”
“After achieving the dream of representing the U.S.A. for figure skating in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang South Korea, Bradie Tennell would love nothing more than for her younger brothers, Austin and Shane to watch her compete for her country,” The GoFundMe page reads. “Bradie’s mom Jean, a single mother of 3, and a registered nurse, works 2 jobs to make ends meet on a daily basis. Because of this, there’s no extra money to bring her sons to PyeongChang.”
3. Bradie’s Brothers Are the Figure Skater’s ‘Number One Fans’
The GoFundMe page highlights the closeness of the siblings. “Bradie’s brothers have always been, and continue to be her number one
fans,” the page organizer wrote. “As a close friend of Bradie’s family, I would love to be able to have these amazing boys attend the games and cheer their sister on.”
Bradie has stressed the support of her family – her two brothers and mother – in interviews. “Throughout my entire journey, my family has been my No. 1 supporter,” Tennell said to the Chicago Tribune. “These three were here every day while I was practicing, sitting up in the bleachers. And Shane, he would dance in the bleachers when I had music on, and you know it just made me laugh.”
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On Mother’s Day, Bradie praised her mother. “Happy Mother’s Day to the strongest person I know. Thanks for always pushing me to be a better person and always believing in me when I don’t believe in myself. You’re always there for me no matter where in the world we are. I love you more than words can say. ❤️❤️❤️,” she wrote.
According to FigureSkatersOnline, Bradie says “I began skating when I was 2 ½ years old, when my mom says that I would beg her to take me ice skating.”
Bradie Tennell’s father does not feature into news stories on her life. Online records and an old 2001 obituary indicate his name is Brad Tennell and he lives in Illinois. Illinois court records show that Bradie’s father, Brad Tennell, and Jean Tennell filed for divorce in 2013 when Bradie was about 5-years-old.
In 2014, court records indicated, “ANY JUDGMENT ENTERED HEREIN SHALL PROVIDE THAT THE custody, control and education of the 3 children. defendent, Jean Tennell, shall have the sole care.” At one point, a mediator was involved, court records showed.
5. Bradie Tennell Wants to Go Into a Medical Field Like Her Mom
Bradie has indicated she is pursuing a college education and might want to be in the medical field like her mom.
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“Tennell takes classes at a local community college to get her general education credits out of the way. She doesn’t know what she’d like to major in yet, but it’s probably something in the science or medical fields,” NBC reported, quoting the figure skater as saying, “I really just want to help people and help improve their quality of life.”