|ASPEN, Colo. (Jan. 25) - The cripplers were bigger and the 900s were more epic than usual Friday night as Olympic medalist and hometown superstar Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) left it all out in the superpipe to take home the coveted X Games gold medal."It was an amazing night and I just can't believe it," Bleiler said. "I've been working on my amplitude and I've been working on that cab 7 and my alley-oop, and it's just finally coming together. [It was a] Good night for it to come together." |
Rocking a sunburst yellow piece from her signature clothing line with Oakley while listening to some Wyclef Jean, Bleiler threw down a front side 900 melon, back side air, crippler 540, fakey alley-oop, front side 720 and cab 720 to win.
Bleiler, who was second at last year's X Games, beat both Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) and last year's X Games gold medalist, Torah Bright of Australia.
Bleiler, who is the current cover girl of ESPN magazine, said on a teleconference call earlier this week she had been working on a cab 7. She never had thrown one in a competition before and it was one of her goals to be able to pull it off, she said.
"We've worked so hard and I was so nervous this whole week. Everything just came together tonight and I'm just so happy."
"Every day we were working on getting cleaner and better and being more comfortable in the air. Her run tonight was big and clean, and it had great variety," said U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe Head Coach Mike Jankowski. "She was spinning both ways on both walls in just a unique way like no one there. Her signature trick is that crippler 540 and it was really, really big tonight.
"It was her variety and the combinations that really put her on the top tonight."
Also in the women's snowboarding halfpipe finals were Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) in fourth place and U.S. Snowboarding rookie Lizzy Beerman (Weston, VT) in sixth.
This was Beerman's first time competing in the X Games, and Jankowski said she couldn't have been happier with her results.
"Lizzy has been working super hard to get to where she is and after her first run she just came off with the greatest look on her face and was so happy that she landed her first run. All the pressure was off and it became a lot more fun," Jankowski said.
The X Games continue Saturday with men's and women's slopestyle airing live on ABC at 3 p.m. ET (1 p.m. MT).
12th WINTER X GAMES
Aspen, CO - Jan. 25, 2008
1. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 93.33 points
2. Torah Bright, Australia, 92.66
3. Kelly Clark, West Dover, VT, 90.00
4. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 77.33
5. Soko Yamaoka, Japan, 74.33
6. Lizzy Beerman, Weston, VT, 67.33
# # #
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images