Gold awakened to a heavy snowfall – a gut punch to any halfpiper. The powder posed amplitude challenges for all, by slowing down their speeds.
Undeterred, the US Snowboarding rookie squad member threw down a tight first run to command a 79.00 score. She tore up the pipe with a frontside 540, backside 540 , frontside 720, and cab 720. She tried to better this initial tromp with a cab 900, but fell out in the second round.
While several top American boarders skipped this event to prepare for the upcoming X-Games, the sixteen-year-old sensation was challenged by some of the world’s best boarders who are focused on the Sochi Olympics next February. Australia’s Holly Crawford, who nearly upended Gold with her second run, won the silver with a 77.25 mark. France’s Sophie Rodriguez sealed a bronze, garnering a 72.50 nod from the judges. And USA’s Kaitlin Farrington scored a 70.25, just off of the podium.
Gold can certainly empathize. She too finished in fourth, at the recent U.S. Grand Prix contest in Copper Mountain. “It’s a pretty big bummer to do that. That’s always been good motivation,” said Gold in a USSA press release.
And she used that incentive to her advantage at these championships. “Hopefully this is the beginning of my success for the season,” said Gold.