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Teter Wins Gold, Bleiler Silver in Halfpipe

Teter Wins Gold, Bleiler Silver in Halfpipe

Advice
posted: 01/01/2000

February 13, 2006



BARDONECCHIA, Italy (USST Press Release)—U.S. Snowboarding continued to rack up Olympic medals Monday as Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) won gold and Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) took silver in Women's Halfpipe. Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT) was just off the podium in fourth and Elena Hight (Zephyr Cove, NV) was sixth.

Following Teter and Bleiler was Norwegian Kjersti Buaas, who took bronze. Teter's gold medal run went like this: frontside 540 melon, method air, frontside 900 stalefish, indy air, frontside 360 with a frontside grab and a switch Cab 540 stalefish.

Teter had already wrapped up gold going into her second run, but she decided not to take a victory lap and laid down another huge pass through the superpipe.

"I was standing up there and Gretchen went and just threw down so hard and I thought she had me, said Teter. "I was like, 'I'd better step it up'. (In my last run) I just wanted to step it up and do my thing and just go as big as possible and totally represent."

Bleiler, who won four of five Chevrolet U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix superpipe events (Olympic qualifiers) this season, started out with a crippler and also threw back-to-back 540s and a 900 in her run.

"It was an absolutely unbelievable day today," said Bleiler, who just missed qualifying for the '02 Games. "The Olympics and medaling at the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I worked so hard to get where I am today and it hasn't been easy, not one day of it. So many ups, so many downs. It's just an unbelievable feeling getting through all of that and accomplishing a dream and a goal."

Clark, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist in pipe, just missed getting on the podium. As usual, she was going huge, but she fell on a frontside 900 on her final hit.

"Kelly really pushed the limits of women's riding by going huge and super technical," said U.S. halfpipe coach Bud Keene.

Hight, just 16 years old, podiumed at all five Grand Prix events to make the Torino Olympic roster.

"Everyone rode really hard and put it all on the line and we're all stoked for eachother," said Hight. "That's what's so awesome about snowboarding. It's such a tight sport and we travel so much that the people you travel with become your closest friends and your family. It's really cool to see eachother do well"[pagebreak]"Dropping in, I was more nervous than I've ever been at a contest before," said Hight. "Once you're snowboarding, it's what we do every day, so it (the nervousness) kind of goes away."

Since halfpipe debuted as a medal sport at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, U.S. women have won four of nine possible medals in the event as Shannon Dunn won bronze in '98.

Yesterday, the U.S. men dominated the pipe as Shaun White (Carlsbad, CA) took gold and Danny Kass (Hamburg, NJ) won his second consecutive Olympic silver. In '02, Ross Powers, Kass and JJ Thomas swept the medals in Utah, while Powers won bronze in '98.

Overall, U.S. riders have won 10 of a possible 18 Olympic medals in halfpipe.

"This was snowboarding at its highest level," said Keene. "It was unbelievable."

XX OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Bardonecchia, ITA - Feb. 13
Women's Halfpipe

1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, Vt.
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo.
3. Kjersti Buaas, Norway
4. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, Vt.
5. Torah Jane Bright, Australia
--
6. Elena Hight, Zephyr Cove, Nev.

XX OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Bardonecchia, ITA - Feb. 13
Women's Halfpipe

1. Hannah Teter, Belmont, Vt.
2. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, Colo.
3. Kjersti Buaas, Norway
4. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, Vt.
5. Torah Jane Bright, Australia
--
6. Elena Hight, Zephyr Cove, Nev.

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