Shaun White and Kelly Clark win U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 22, 2010 9:55 pm

The first night of the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix in Park City, Utah took the world literally by storm. Amidst intermittent snow (and then a lot of it), Shaun White wowed the crowd with his huge airs, and Kelly Clark continued her strong halfpipe reign.

White’s performance was nearly flawless as he unveiled a new trick he’s been training for the Vancouver Olympics next month. Dubbed the ‘Double McTwist,’ White’s new move involves 1.5 horizontal flips and two vertical flips–all in one trick. White’s near-perfect score of 49 topped runner-up Scotty Lago’s run by 1.3 points–miles in snowboarding terms. Greg Bretz finished third, and while White is a shoe-in for the Olympics, Lago’s and Bretz’s strong performances moved them closer to solidifying spots.

Of his rocket-high score and amazing new trick, a smiling White said, “It was the run of my life. I just have to keep practicing. There’s always room for improvement.”

Considering White’s infallible consistency, the forecast is strong for another solid performance at the 2010 Games. (And again tomorrow, in the second of two Grand Prix events at Park City.)

On the women’s side, Kelly Clark edged out defending Olympic Champion Hannah Teter for the gold, with Ellery Hollingsworth finishing third. Clark told reporters that she was planning on adding more tricks to her Olympic run, and that the Park City win was “…a good starting point.”

The action continues tomorrow night at Park City, with USSA CEO Bill Marolt’s Olympic Team announcement to follow.