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Women’s Snowboarding Fandango at the X Games January 26, 2008

I Can Haz 1080?Torino, 2006. Kelly Clark is headed into the last hit of a run that will certainly earn her a bronze medal; she needs only to land a straight air on the last hit. Instead, she mans up and hucks a huge, gold-medal worthy front 900. Everyone watching gasps… but she doesn’t quite land it. No medal for Kelly Clark, but a huge step forward for women’s snowboarding.

Aspen, 2008. She’s headed into her last hit, a trail of halfpipe perfection behind her, in her 2nd of 3 runs. This time she counter-rotates just a bit more, and when she unleashes her fury of amplitude and spin, it’s obvious: Kelly Clark intends to land une fontside 1080. She doesn’t quite.

It’s official though: Women are authorized to huck 1080s.

Clark attempts to purchase the front 1080 on her final run. After falling early, she amps up through the middle of the pipe and guns it into her toeside wall, floating a huge, spirally, magnificent ten, landing with a big butt check but riding away at max speed nonetheless. It’s triple time for K-Clark.

Gretchen Bleiler wins the contest; the town of Aspen rejoices; her sponsors and magazine editors everywhere celebrate like Bolivian soccer fans. In truth, Bleiler deserves the gold. Decked out in a sunburst yellow outfit, part spaceman and part Kill Bill, her run is nothing short of Muse-worthy. Bleiler hucks a giant crippler, landing at the top of the pipe’s transition. She also throws a frontside alley-oop that men will kill for. On X-Center later, she sweats the back 720. (Ed. - Gretch, Elena Hight can huck back 9s. But, ‘evs.)

Regardless, Bleiler is the Lioness of the day. Clark, though, makes all want to be better than we are.

Right? Comment, son!


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