Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kelly Clark Makes Olympics Again

Kelly Clark, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s halfpipe, became the first snowboarder to snare a spot on the 2010 United States halfpipe team by winning the United States Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, Calif. It is the third consecutive Olympic berth for Clark, who finished fourth at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.  New York Times John Branch

 The lowdown from
"In the women's pipe Clark's consistency and her overall riding quality were undeniable as she stomped a clean frontside air, backside 5, frontside 9, backside air, frontside 7, cab 7 for the win.

The gold medalist, who stuck a claim on her third Olympic Team spot, was reeling after her victory lap.

"I couldn't be happier with my result today and it's a privilege to be going to my third Olympic Games," Clark said.

Being able to ride so solidly thus far in the season was a huge source of pride for halfpipe's strongest woman.

"Being able to come out and win the first two Olympic qualifiers is great and everything now will be practice for me," Clark said. "I've been getting ready for these qualifiers for a long time."

At the end of it all, there was just one word Clark could think of to describe how she felt.

"It's a pretty overwhelming thing and I would just say I feel privileged right now to be 26 years old and heading to my third Olympics. It's a really incredible thing," Clark said.

In the second place spot, Hannah Teter's (Belmont, VT) smooth style was a shout out to the world that she's still going strong and, after not being able to compete due to injury at Copper's Grand Prix, the Vermonter was happy to land her run.

"I feel really good. It's nice to come back after having a slight injury in the first Grand Prix. I've been doing a lot of visualizing, and seeing everything in my head then just putting it out on the snow," Teter said. "It definitely boosts it up bit to have a good result."

And, if you guessed that her money has a one-way ticket to the village she sponsors in Africa through the production of her maple syrup and the donation of all her contest earnings, you guessed right.

"I'm excited to donate the money I won from second place to the kids and elevate the charity," Teter said.

The exciting outcome of Wednesday's pipe is going to be hard to beat, but the athletes have a shot to do it again on Saturday as they drop into the pipe at Mammoth for the third of five Olympic qualifiers. Stay tuned."
Mammoth Mountain, CA - Jan. 5, 2010

1. Danny Davis, Detroit, MI, 49.20
2. Shaun White, Carlsbad, CA, 46.20
3. Scotty Lago, Seabrook, NH, 45.00
4. Louie Vito, Sandy, UT, 45.00
5. Elijah Teter, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 44.90
6. Greg Bretz, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 44.50
7. Jeff Bachelor, Canada, 43.50
8. Mathieu Crepel, France, 43.00
9. JJ Thomas, Golden, CO, 41.30
10. Jack Mitrani, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 40.30

1. Kelly Clark, Mt. Snow, VT, 48.40
2. Hannah Teter, Belmont, VT, 45.20
3. Holly Crawford, Australia, 44.40
4. Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 42.50
5. Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 42.40
6. Maddy Schaffrick, Steamboat Springs, CO, 38.70
7. Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton, VT, 31.00
8. Clair Bidez, Minturn, CO, 39.90

Congratulations and best wishes to Kelly, Hannah, and all the girls on your quest toward Olympic Gold!
ski girl

p.s. Here's Kelly Clark at the NZ Open

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