Bleiler Claims Fourth X Games Women’s Superpipe Gold

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"I'm glad I'm not a judge," said Heikki Sorsa as we all stood at the bottom of the pipe watching Kelly Clark finish up her third finals run. Gretchen Bleiler had already landed a ballistic run that was one big crazy combo--a boosty frontside 9 into a backside five followed by a Crippler seven into back-to-back 720s. Nuts is right. As the winning qualifier from the elimination round, Clark dropped last, and with Gretchen in first place after the aforementioned sick run, Kelly had her work cut out for her dropping into her third and final run. She dropped and went fourteen feet out on a frontside air. Her rampage continued down the pipe with a back five, frontside 900, and stompy back-to back-720s.

So ... if Bleiler was looking for a run to challenge hers, this was it. The judges musta been sweating. In the end, Gretchen's run was the winner by a mere .66 points. Of course she was jazzed to grab her fourth X Games gold in her hometown in front of her whole family et cetera--plus it was a supreme confidence boost heading into Vancouver in a couple weeks. Congratulations, lady!

Speaking of the Olympics, the X Games superpipe podium just happened to be the three riders rounding out the U.S. Olympic pipe team. Coincidence? I think not. Hannah Teter touched down in third place, but she sketched all three runs and was a whopping 26 points behind Clark and Bleiler. The rest of the women's runs were marred by mistakes and falls, as well, but Ellery Hollingsworth chucked the Cab 1080 and almost had it, so huge props to her for truly pushing it.

Women's Superpipe Finals

1.         Gretchen Bleiler
2.         Kelly Clark
3.         Hannah Teter
4.         Soko Yamaoka
5.         Ellery Hollingsworth
6.         Elena Hight