Despite the falling snow, Kelly Clark took her 62nd podium and the gold medal at the X Games Tignes women’s halfpipe on Wednesday. (Getty Images/AFP/Jean-Pierre Clatot)
TIGNES, France (March 20) – Despite the falling snow, Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) took her 62nd podium and the gold medal at the X Games Tignes women’s halfpipe on Wednesday. Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) rode away with the silver and 16-year-old rookie Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) landed on the podium with bronze.
Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) took her 62nd podium and the gold medal at the X Games Tignes women’s halfpipe on Wednesday.
Her win comes after dominating the Burton US Open at Vail earlier this month.
Clark has now won double X Games gold along with her win in Aspen in February.
Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) rode away with the silver, her fourth X Games medal and third silver.
During her second X Games appearance, 16-year-old rookie Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) won the bronze medal. She also took bronze in Aspen while competing as an alternate.
Hannah Teter (Belmont, VT) just missed the podium, finishing fourth.
Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) placed fifth, a great result for her this season following a serious eye injury.
Heavy snow, poor visibility, swirling winds and accumulating snow in the base of the pipe created an all-around tough competition.
The final consisted of 100% American athletes due to injuries and scheduling conflicts with other international riders.
X Games Tignes, a 6Star World Snowboard Tour event, continues tomorrow with men's snowboard halfpipe finals.
QUOTES Kelly Clark I've historically been very poor riding in snowy conditions. My mechanics are really slow in snow. The speed that I ride at is very different than the other women for the most part. It makes my spinning mechanics really slow so for me to do a trick not as big as I normally do is like a nightmare. This has been one of the things I have really been trying to work on. Next year in a big year perspective, what if it's dumping for Sochi? What an opportunity to come here tonight, put down a good run in a snowstorm, gain experience and confidence. It's little victories. I am a competitive person, but this is a multifaceted victory where I try to look at the things I overcame and gained as a snowboarder. Those are the things I reflect on and appreciate more.
I wasn't as consistent this year as I have been. I didn't win all the contests, but I won the right ones. This is my last major competition and I am really happy with how my season went and I am looking forward to having some time to train and be home. I wanted to do a cab 1080, like I did at the US Open. I have been thinking about that trick for a year now, and I have really been working on my switch riding. The tricks aren't always the hardest part. It's getting to the wall. I am looking forward to a team halfpipe camp in Mammoth in May.
Elena Hight The halfpipe was awesome. Frank [Wells] and SPT did a really great job of building it. It's a bummer when weather comes in and messes with our perfect halfpipe, but it's a part of snow sports. The wind and the snow were definitely a factor and I am just happy that I put down a run. I am so happy and I am stoked to end my season on a good note. I didn't do the run I wanted to do with conditions like this. Just to be able to land a run clean—and I was able to land a front 9, which I haven't done all season in a contest. So that feels good.
Arielle Gold I am really excited about this; I think I might have been a little bit more excited in Aspen, just the vibe of being in my home state and everything. The weather was better so I was a bit happier with my riding there. Under the tricky circumstances I think it all went really well. I am stoked to be on the podium with these two amazing girls.