Kelly Clark edges 13-year-old, gets fourth straight Winter X Games halfpipe gold

Kelly Clark
1 Comment

Kelly Clark will go into the Olympics as the Winter X Games champion for the third time.

Clark won the biggest pre-Olympic snowboarding event in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday night, her fourth straight X Games title.

The 2002 Olympic champion won with a first-run score of  95 points that included a 1080. She posted a record 14-foot, 11-inch amplitude to lead an American podium sweep.

Chloe Kim took second with 94.33 points in her X Games debut. Kim is 13 and too young for the Olympics. She performed well enough in Olympic selection events in December and January that she would have been a podium contender in Sochi.

“Whenever I decide to leave, it’s going to be in good hands,” Clark, 30, said on ESPN.

Kaitlyn Farrington, going to her first Olympics, was third with 94 points.

In 2010, the Olympic champion Torah Bright of Australia did not compete at X Games. The U.S. swept the 2010 X Games podium — Gretchen Bleiler, Clark and Hannah Teter.

Bleiler was 11th at the 2010 Olympics, Clark won bronze and Teter took silver. Bleiler competed in her final X Games on Saturday and finished sixth.

In 2006, Clark won X Games and finished fourth at the Torino Olympics, where Teter and Bleiler won gold and silver.

In 2002, Clark won X Games and the Olympics.

Clark enters Sochi as the clear favorite, looking to become the first woman to win multiple Olympic snowboarding titles. She’ll be challenged by American teammates Farrington, Teter and Arielle Gold as well as Bright.

Shaun White’s rival fractures rib