Clark Leads Copper Sweep

Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) mathematically clinched her spot on the 2014 Olympic halfpipe snowboarding team Saturday with her win at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper. Clark led a U.S. sweep of the halfpipe finals with Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO).

December 22, 2013

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Dec. 22) – Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) mathematically clinched her spot on the 2014 Olympic halfpipe snowboarding team Saturday with her win at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper. Clark led a U.S. sweep of the halfpipe finals with Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO). The American women took the podium in Saturday’s FIS World Cup, which doubled as a U.S. Olympic qualification event, despite the slow and difficult conditions in the pipe. With the rest of the U.S. women still in contention for the Olympic team, the competition will be fierce when the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix goes to Breckenridge Jan. 8-11.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) mathematically clinched her spot on the 2014 Olympic halfpipe snowboarding team Saturday with her win at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper. 
  • Clark led a U.S. sweep of the halfpipe finals with Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO).
  • The American women took the podium sweep in Saturday’s FIS World Cup, which doubled as the second of five U.S. Olympic qualification events, despite the slow and difficult conditions in the pipe. The final showcased the skills of veterans Clark and Bleiler as well as rising talent Gold.
  • Clark sealed the contest with her first run score of 95.5 but dropped into her second ‘victory’ run and laid down an aggressive series of tricks, including a 1080, which scored her a 98.0.
  • With two wins, Clark has met the objective criteria and maintains a commanding lead in the points, virtually locking her spot on the team.
  • The Olympic team will be formally nominated on Jan. 19, following the fifth and final qualifying event.
  • Olympic silver medalist Bleiler put down a clean run with a strong series of tricks and showed that she is ready for her third games.
  • Saturday’s results also moved Gold up to second in the qualification standings after her fourth-place finish at Dew Tour Breckenridge last weekend.
  • Kaitlyn Farrington (Salt Lake City) and Elena Hight (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) finished fifth and eighth.
  • With the rest of the field still in contention for the Olympic team, the competition will be fierce when the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix goes to Breckenridge Jan. 8-11.

QUOTES
Kelly Clark
To be honest, it’s hard for me to compute right now. You plan, you dream, you train, and then it happens and you’re just kind of in awe. I just had a conversation with my dad. He’s pretty excited, and perhaps in the next few days it’ll settle in.

I love the Olympics. I love the opportunity to get to go every four years. But for me, it really is about the tricks. It really is about my riding. It’s about pushing myself. So even though I had the contest wrapped up at the end there, it was still important for me to go out and put down a good run that I could walk away being really proud of. I was happy to put down a good first run in finals and to come out and land the run that I wanted second run.

I had a bit of a bug this morning and I literally got off the couch at 5:30 for practice. People were bringing me soup and Gatorade all day. I was hurting and trying to conserve my energy in practice. That was the first 1080 I did all day, just because I was trying to make sure I had enough energy to put runs down when I needed to.

RESULTS
Women’s Official Results

STANDINGS
Official Qualification Standings

LINKS
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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tricia Byrnes, tbyrnes@ussa.org


MEDIA NOTE

Additional photos are available here.

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Colorado Demo Days will take place Nov. 22nd and 23rd.
Lifts open 8:30am on weekends, 9:00am weekdays.