Soren Joseph Hartnett, age 16, died on July 18, 2020 after suffering a fatal heart arrhythmia due to previously undiagnosed Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. He collapsed on July 15 while doing what he loved most, training with his Bridger Ski Foundation Nordic ski teammates. After his death, his liver and both kidneys were donated to 3 young transplant recipients and gave them a new chance at life.
Soren started biathlon in 2012 with his friends Ben, Alex and Gus, and he never looked back. He dedicated himself to becoming the best Nordic skier he could be. He never missed a practice (unless forced to by family trips) and even did extra training on rest days. His BSF and Crosscut Biathlon teams were his second family. He was always kind to younger and less experienced athletes and sought the example of older and more experienced teammates to better himself.
In his 16 years, he sought out every new experience he could find. He travelled widely with family, friends, and teammates. Some highlights were a trip as member of a biathlon team representing the U.S. in Norway; his 8th grade Headwaters Academy trip to Campeche, Mexico; a trip with friend Kellen to attend a summer leadership academy in Washington, DC; and backcountry skiing in the Beartooth’s with his friends. Several family vacations were spent with our close friends from Germany, Peter, Jutta and their children. Soren loved mastering new tricks on the trampoline with his brother Rowland, hanging with his friend Kate and the other neighborhood kids, backpacking with Sawyer and Ben, skiing at Bridger Bowl after the lifts closed for the season with Cale, and hanging with all of his BSF Nordic friends. He pushed himself ahead of grade level in several subjects and excelled in them all. He was a ham; he loved his years at Equinox theater camp, which culminated one summer as a volunteer counselor.
Soren played the fiddle for 11 years, not always in tune, but always with enthusiasm. He loved all animals, especially his golden retrievers, Malcolm and Angus. He always seemed to find stray cats, and on one trip he named them all after “Hamilton” characters.
Soren’s brother Rowland and parents Doug and Mary miss his messy room, his bright smile, and the way he flopped on his bed. Soren left himself to-do lists, and soon after he died we found a small handwritten reminder note above his bedroom door frame that said, “YOU CAN DO IT”.
A scholarship fund has been set up in Soren’s name to provide financial assistance to young athletes pursuing Nordic skiing and biathlon, and to provide AED’s for youth athletic groups. Donations may be made at: https://bacf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1385, or via the One Valley Community Foundation website, Soren Joseph Hartnett Legacy Scholarship Fund.