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Marni Yamada Retires From U.S. Snowboarding
PARK CITY, UT After competing on the snowboardcross World Cup Circuit for eight years and making two World Championships appearances in 2005 and 2007, Marni Yamada (Seattle, WA) announced her retirement following the 2009-2010 winter season with U.S. Snowboarding.
"It has been one of the most memorable times up to this point that I can remember. I really love every person on the Team. That’s the part I’ll miss the most- the people," said Yamada. "The Team and the whole sport really pushed me mentally, physically emotionally and spiritually. I’m grateful for the experience."
Yamada’s path to the world stage in snowboarding was unique. She first hit the slopes at age nine on skis, directing her into alpine ski racing, where she attended Mount Hood Academy followed by Western State, continuing her ski racing career. After graduating from college in 2000, Yamada decided to purchase a snowboard, which led to a U.S. Snowboarding National Championship win in her first attempt.
"It was just inspiring to know you could have a whole new challenge, just on a snowboard," expressed Yamada. "Since then, it has really opened up quite a bit of new challenges, endeavors, tricks and travel."
In 2004, Yamada became a fixed competitor on the World Cup Circuit, when she began to focus her efforts on snowboardcross. Like many young riders, she began her competitive career participating in all snowboarding disciplines.
"Snowboadcross was my natural, innate feeling with the speed and racing really complimenting the ex-ski racer style," explained Yamada.
Yamada’s impressive career ended with a solid 2009-2010 campaign. "MarnStar", as referred to by her teammates, tallied nine top-20 finishes in World Cups, NorAms, and South American Cups, highlighted by a World Cup seventh place in Argentina. When looking back, few words come to Marni’s mind to describe her years with the Team.
"It’s just so cool,” said Yamada. “It was a totally amazing journey and I loved it."
Turning over a new page, Yamada is returning to school in Seattle. She is attending the Kerala Ayurveda Academy to study ayurveda, one of the oldest medicine practices known to man, while teaching yoga full time.
"I feel grateful that the USSA is able to support my school endeavors as well as my athletic pursuits,” said Yamada. “I’m excited for the next chapter. I have a whole new bag of tricks to open up."
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 98
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day