Gretchen Bleiler, USA
Hometown: Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado
Board team: K2
Recent results: 2010 X Games halfpipe gold medalist. Two first place finishes and one second place finish in the Grand Prix Olympic qualifying series.
Olympic outlook: Gretchen is made for this caliber of event. She’s a fierce competitor with tons of contest experience and the consistency that comes with it. Her classic Crippler has recently been upgraded to a Crippler 720-plus, there’s the solid nine and back-to-back fives and sevens. She’s also in the unique position of having prior Olympics medal experience while still being a bit of an underdog. Having touched down in the silver-medal spot behind fellow American Hannah Teter at the Torino Games, Gretchen’s undoubtedly got a fire under her ass to get the gold on this go-round.
Potential downfall: Although she’s a seasoned competitor with consistency on her side, Gretchen’s weakest link was surprisingly consistency and injuries-she’s had several concussions recently. She also didn’t seem to get much love from the judges during the Grand Prix series.
Gretchen’s winning Grand Prix run and potential Olympic run: