Burlington, VT — One year ago, Kelly Clark gave the United States their first Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics, capturing the nation’s attention with her incredible halfpipe run. This year, Kelly has already achieved another landmark in her snowboarding career — joining the Burton Global Team.

“Being a part of the Global Team has been one of my goals for a long time,” says Kelly. “Now that I’m a part of it, I really feel like the pressure is off and I’m free to focus on other aspects of snowboarding like park and freeriding. I’m also looking forward to being more involved in the product development process at Burton.”

Kelly’s Gold Medal run in Salt Lake City was just one of many winning runs she had last year. In 2002 alone, she won seven of the world’s most competitive halfpipe contests including a Gold Medal at the Olympics, first place at the U.S. Open Halfpipe competition, first place at the U.S. Open Quarterpipe competition, first place at the Winter X Games and first place at three consecutive Grand Prix competitions.

Clearly, Kelly was no stranger to the top spot on the podium last year. She also received her fair share of awards off the hill. In October 2002 Kelly was recognized as one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year at a celebrity event in New York. Past award winners include Diane Sawyer, Sheryl Crow, Picabo Street and Monica Seles. In July 2002 she received the Best Action Sports Athlete award at the 10th Annual ESPY Awards where she was up against tough competition including pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist and 21-year-old Motocross phenom Ricky Carmichael. The Women’s Sports Foundation also recognized Kelly’s outstanding season and nominated her for Sportswoman of the Year. Additionally, she was nominated for a Teen Choice Award and has taken an active role in the nationwide Verb campaign, which encourages kids and young people to lead active lives.

Despite all of her pipe victories, awards, nominations and media appearances, Kelly Clark is still a down-to-earth Vermonter from a small town who loves to ride. This season, she’s based out of Mammoth, California where she’s focusing on her pipe, freeriding and park skills and hanging out with fellow Burton team riders Anne Molin Kongsgaard and Kjersti Buaas. She recently placed second at the 2003 X Games and is heading to the US Open Snowboarding Championships to defend her halfpipe title in March. Being a part of the Burton Global Team will give Kelly more opportunities to do what she does best — ride.

Consumers can learn more about Burton Snowboards by calling Burton Rider Service: (800) 881-3138.

Burton Snowboards, the world’s first snowboard factory, is a pure snowboard company solely dedicated to creating and perfecting a full-range of the best snowboarding equipment on the planet. Led by founder and owner Jake Burton, widely considered the pioneer of snowboarding, Burton’s passion is snowboarding – evident by their overriding mission to open snowboarding at every mountain resort. Why aren’t you riding? Celebrating 25 years in 2002, Burton has fueled the growth of snowboarding worldwide through continuous work with, and support of, their Global Team riders and development of successful programs such as Learn-To-Ride (LTR), The Chill Foundation, and the US Open Snowboarding Championships. Don’t make excuses. Headquartered in Burlington, Vermont with international offices in Innsbruck, Austria and Tokyo, Japan, Burton, the industry leader, is the brand of choice for millions around the world. There is snow somewhere.

Immediately after joining the Smith Optics team, snowboarder Kelly Clark secured a silver medal in last week’s Winter X Superpipe competition in Aspen, CO. Clark, whose accomplishments include gold medals in last year’s Olympics and Winter X Superpipe, put together a run that featured an enormous air at the top, a huge frontside 540, a corked backside 540 with a tail grab, and a frontside 720.

“We’re stokeed to have Kelly on the team and are confident she will give us plenty more solid performances to look forward to,” said Smith snowboard team manager, Cory Smith.

In other Smith team news, Hana Beaman locked up another silver in the Slopestyle competition, throwing a melon grab frontside 360 followed by a backside 360 before the contest was called due to heavy weather.

In men’s Slopestyle, Jussi Oksanen and Jimi Tomer teamed up to take the silver and bronze, respectively, for Smith. Tomer’s rookie X Games performance featured technical rail work, a rodeo 720, a backflip, a slow and steady frontside 180 tail grab over the channel gap, and a solid frontside 900. Jussi, who earned the bronze last year, put together a run that included three 720s: one frontside, another buttered switch backside, and still another that landed near the bottom of the transition on the last jump.

Eddie Wall walked away with top honors in the Red Bull Rail Jam courtesy of a Cab 270 to FS Boardslide with a 270 out. Wall’s performance held off hard charging Smith am, Drew Fuller, who threw down a BS Lip Slide.

Smith riders and the monstrous 4 x 4 Smith limo will be at upcoming events including the third stop of the Van’s Triple Crown in Big Bear, CA and the U.S. Snowboarding Open in Stratton, VT.

Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, Smith Sport Optics, Inc. was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. Today, Smith is as well known for its diverse line of fashion and performance sunglasses as it is for its goggles. From Smith’s distortion-free Tapered Lens Technology to the versatility of the Slider Series, with its patented, interchangeable lens system, the devotion to excellence, innovation and style is what has made Smith goggles and sunglasses the choice of action-sport athletes worldwide. Smith products are sold in more than 50 countries through sporting goods and specialty stores. For more information visit www.smithsport.com.