Clark only needed one run to be at the top but that did not stop her from trying to improve and land her new trick the cab 1080.
Kelly Clark, the most decorated female snowboarder, taking a practice lap. Photo: © Daniel Goetzhaber/GEPA pictures
“I always look forward to X Games to progress my riding,” said Clark. “In every non-Olympic year, X Games is the biggest event. I think giving us a three run format and the growing TV coverage, it forces the riders to step up and progress the sport.”
Chloe Kim, at the young age of 13, claimed the silver medal beating out Sochi bound Kaitlyn Farrington with a strong final run.
“I am having the time of my life this season,” said Kim. “Hasn’t this been fun? I look up to all of these ladies that I get to ride with. It has been so fun to be here with them and competing alongside with them.”
Saturdays’ events brought 48,000 people out to watch, making an X Games record.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t love snowboarding more and more and I know the other competitors feel that way about their sports as well,” said Clark. “This is what keeps me coming back. Our passion for the sport translates to the crowds. To be at the top of the pipe and see the ocean of people here to watch you compete lets me know that we are going in a great direction.”
Earlier in the week, Gretchen Bleiler announced her retirement from competition and that she would be moving to her next stage of her snowboarding career. After her final run, Bleiler waved to her hometown crowd in Aspen with a noticeable tear in her eye.
“I have always brought my love for snowboarding to every place I have ridden,” said Bleiler. “If there is one thing I want to be remembered for it is that I never didn’t give it my all to this sport every time in competition. X Games is home for me, of course I would’ve given anything for the storybook ending but to just be here, after the injury, and able to compete one more time in front of my hometown crowds is an experience I will never forget.”