Bleiler wins X Games superpipe; Teter third
That run Gretchen Bleiler has been trying to perfect?
Well, all the parts finally mixed together as she won the women’s snowboard superpipe Saturday night. She scored a 96.66 to defeat Kelly Clark by .66 and win her fourth gold medal in the event.
Bleiler had good height on her stunts, and pulled off that corked 900 she’s been thinking about. That was enough to pull an upset over Clark, her American teammate, who had won four of the five pre-Olympic events coming into the X Games.
“I finally went with the gravity of the halfpipe instead of fighting against it,” said Bleiler, who’s from Aspen. “It felt right.”
Defending Olympic champion Hannah Teter of South Lake Tahoe finished third, as the Americans swept the podium just in time for Vancouver. South Shore’s Elena Hight, who was third in qualifying, finished sixth.
Clark put down a high-flying run to take the early lead, only to be surpassed by Bleiler.
“Gretchen rode amazing, Hannah rode great,” Clark said. “One of the best women’s finals.”
ANDERSON STOMPS QUALIFIERS: Jamie Anderson of South Lake Tahoe led women’s snowboard slopestyle qualifying on Saturday, posting the only scores in the 90s.
Anderson posted the top two runs with scores of 96.66 and 91.00. Janna Meyen-Weatherby was second at 88.00.
The finals are set for Sunday,
DOUBLE GOLD: Bobby Brown won the men’s skiing slopestyle title, his second crown of the X Games competition.
Brown, who’s from nearby Breckenridge, captured the Big Air title the night before.
“I had probably 20 people come to watch me,” Brown said. “Today, it really helped because I had no energy after last night.”
ATTENDANCE RECORD: The Winter X Games set an attendance record Saturday as 34,500 fans showed up for the events. The previous mark was 32,000 set in 2000 when the games were in Mount Snow, Vt.
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As another summer heads to Lake Tahoe, residents are finding ways to stay busy and one of the more popular activities to gain traction on both shores is pickleball.