Elder’s Heavenly weekend ends in matrimony
Friday: Earn second place at a professional snowboarding competition at Heavenly Ski Resort.
Saturday: Chill out and run some errands.
Sunday: Get married.
That was the bizarre weekend schedule for South Lake Tahoe resident Kristi Elder, who finished second in the halfpipe competition at the 1999 Bud Light Boarder Battle on Friday and exchanged wedding vows at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church during a Sunday ceremony.
“Basically, I won the best thing in the world on Sunday, and I don’t ever have to give it back,” said Elder over the telephone during her wedding reception Sunday.
Elder married South Shore resident Jeremy Ussher, who plays bass guitar and is a vocalist for area band Lavish Green.
Elder, who has been snowboarding professionally for 10 years, collected $1,750 for her runner-up finish Friday. Calgary’s Stacey Anne Burke won the top prize in the women’s halfpipe. The event’s finals took place under the lights Friday evening, with qualifying runs during the early afternoon. Somehow, Elder fit in a wedding rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner in between.
“I love night finals because they seem so surreal,” said Elder, who finished 11th in the halfpipe competition at the Winter X Games in Crested Butte, Colo. in mid-January. “Everything is highlighted … much more extravagant.”
The couple plans to travel to Guayabitos, Mexico for its honeymoon, 45 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. Elder said she plans to keep a busy snowboarding schedule despite her marriage commitments. On Saturday evening, Ussher and the rest of Lavish Green belted out tunes at the Horizon Casino for spectators and competitors at the Bud Light-sponsored event.
“I’ve been doing snowboarding for 10 years now and I’ve married my best friend,” Elder, er, Ussher said. “Everything has gone like silk. So smooth.”
Notes: Elder was not the only area boarder who had a good weekend. Truckee’s Ian Spiro pulled down $2,500 in prize money with second-place honors in the men’s halfpipe. South Shore halfpipe specialist Michelle Yu rounded out the area brigade with a fifth-place showing in the women’s halfpipe.
High winds and wet, heavy snow canceled both Saturday’s big air and Sunday’s snowboard cross events. Race organizers have not yet scheduled a make-up date for the event’s second stop. The Bud Light Boarder Battle series began Jan. 22-24 in Killington, VT and will conclude next weekend in Mount Snow, Vt.
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