Category Archives: Sports

Is Olympic slopestyle too dangerous?

Athletes, IOC react to official’s harsh criticism following Sochi Winter Olympics

Summit Daily News story in the aftermath of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Winter Olympics returned to the headlines over the weekend with an International Olympic Committee official saying the games’ latest additions — skier and snowboard slopestyle — had an “unacceptably high” risk and should be dropped from future games if the sports don’t address safety concerns.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Lars Engebretsen, the IOC’s head of scientific activities, was quoted as saying slopestyle injuries were “much higher than any other sport in Sochi.”
While ski and snowboard slopestyle have a long history in events like the X Games and Dew Tour, they joined skier halfpipe as new additions to this year’s games in Sochi, Russia.
Engebretsen called for drastic measures regarding slopestyle in future Olympic competitions.
“Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics,” he said. Continue reading Is Olympic slopestyle too dangerous?

Clark, Kim, Gold leading charge in women’s snowboard halfpipe

Pushing boundaries, trio credits friendship over rivalry

Story first run in the Summit Daily News in March of 2015

One is a four-time Olympian and the first woman to land a 1080 in competition, the other recently became the youngest snowboarder to win gold at the X Games. Together 31-year-old Kelly Clark and 14-year-old Chloe Kim have been dominating women’s halfpipe for the last year and a half — with their U.S. teammate Arielle Gold, 18, not far behind.
“I think it’s awesome,” Gold said of their accomplishments in the last season. “I think the three of us have been pushing the sport more than it’s ever been.”
Since the Olympic qualifiers last winter one, two or all three of them have been on a podium for every major women’s snowboarding competition, with Clark generally setting the bar. It’s a streak bound to continue this weekend with Kim, Clark and Gold finishing first, second and third in the qualifying round of the Burton U.S. Open at Vail Thursday. They’ll face off in the finals Saturday in Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak halfpipe.
But don’t call it a rivalry. Continue reading Clark, Kim, Gold leading charge in women’s snowboard halfpipe

Explore Summit: Olympic snowboarders feature

Growing Up Golden : Olympic snowboarders Taylor and Arielle Gold

Explore Summit magazine feature on Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Olympic and X Games snowboarders Taylor and Arielle Gold. (Spring 2015 issue) Story also ran in the Summit Daily News and Explore Summit Weekender. Sample below; full story link here.


Just a under a month after his first Dew Tour win, 21-year-old Taylor Gold is back at it in the halfpipe at Breckenridge Ski Resort. While his 18-year-old sister Arielle — an equally accomplished rider with podium finishes at both X Games and Dew Tour — runs laps with four-time Olympic snowboarder Kelly Clark, Taylor sits on top of one of the 22-foot halfpipe’s walls thinking about a trick.

Taylor Gold training

After strapping in, he stands up, slides forward a little and eyes the spot he is about to hit on the opposing wall.
“Anything I do here is going to be thoroughly unimpressive,” he jokes.
It’s a few days before the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding pro teams start their pre-X Games training camp. Taylor, Arielle, Clark and a handful of other skiers and snowboarders are already in the pipe at Breckenridge getting a jump on training and shaking off rust after a holiday break.
Standing near the edge Taylor waits for an opening between riders and skiers coming from the top of the pipe. He drops in, airs out of the pipe with a quick grab and then hikes back up. The small trick is just a portion of what will eventually build into something much larger, more complex.
“I told you it wasn’t going to be impressive.” [Continue full story here.]