Different year, same story. With the women’s superpipe finals slated to take place tonight at Winter X Games 16, everyone’s eyes are set on the unstoppable Kelly Clark. It’s somewhat intimidating for the other ladies heading into the competition when they’re aware that the person they’re aiming to beat has won the last 12 contests she’s competed in. A pretty legit feat to brag about.
Kelly Clark, most recently recognized for being the first and only female so far to stomp a 1080 in the halfpipe, is considered to be a certified halfpipe master. She has continuously upped the ante for all ladies alike riding halfpipe as well as for women’s snowboarding as a whole. However, this time around the girls are catching onto Kelly’s game and are pushing themselves to give Clark a run for her money.
Challenging Clark tonight will be a stacked field of contenders, consisting of Gretchen Bleiler, Torah Bright, Hannah Teter, Maddy Schaffrick, Elena Hight, Kaitlyn Farrington, and Xuetong Cai. All these riders are capable of putting down a technical and solid run however, if Kelly Clark brings her A-game, which she most always does, it will be pretty difficult to out-ride her in this discipline.
So, who will it be? A heavily experienced group of riders all hungry for the win will provide an intense snowboard battle. Talks of new tricks being laid out over the 22-foot halfpipe from–which should come as no surprise–Clark have begun to circulate. However, not to be outdone, Gretchen Bleiler has thrown her name into the mix, and will be one to watch for, as she nearly edged out Clark at the Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, CO. If this happens, pipe finals will be one of the most progressive women’s events we’ve ever seen.
But when there’s a gold medal up for grabs with every girl thinking it would look best on them, prior statistics can be meaningless. So who will rise up and end Clark’s run of domination? Or will Clark continue her strong run and stomp the competition? Find out tonight when the women’s snowboard pipe finals commence at 9 pm.
Photo: Huggy/SNOWBOARDER Magazine
Kelly landing her first 1080 below: