Text courtesy Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation
Despite the falling snow Mammoth Team rider, Kelly Clark took her 62nd victory and the gold medal at the X Games Tignes women’s halfpipe on Wednesday, March 20.
Elena Hight rode away with the silver and 16-year-old rookie Arielle Gold landed on the podium with bronze.
The snowy final consisted of 100% American athletes due to injuries and scheduling conflicts with other international riders. Clark’s win comes after dominating the Burton US Open at Vail earlier this month. She has now won double X Games gold along with her win in Aspen in February.
Heavy snow, poor visibility, swirling winds and accumulating snow in the base of the pipe created an all-around tough competition. Clark commented, “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.”
Clark’s run: Frontside 1080 indy, cab 720 mute-grab, frontside indy, backside 540 mute-grab, frontside 540. She continued saying, “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.”