Kelly Clark once again dominated the women’s halfpipe competition here in Tignes tonight, taking the title for a third time in a row.
Incredibly, when added to her victories in Aspen for the last three years, that makes it her sixth consecutive X Games Gold.
But while they finished second and third (which meant incidentally that our podium prediction was 100% correct) neither came close to Kelly’s massive first run score, and in the end she won the comp with a run to spare.
If snowboarding were cricket it’s at about this point in the article that I’d launch into a lengthy analysis of stats, and probably end up comparing Ms. Clark to Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs or even WG Grace – the all time greats.
In snowboarding, such things matter less. But suffice to say that Kelly has now broken every competition record going. Earlier this year Kelly took her 60th contest win. No-one else – male or female – has even come close.
It helps of course that her career has been a long one, a fact she said she was “really grateful for” in her post-match interview.
Her experience certainly helped tonight. If you were feeling charitable, you would have described conditions in Tignes tonight as “godawful”. High winds and heavy snow all day had seen the skiing slopestyle competition cancelled.
And although the flood-lights meant the show could go on in the pipe, the women were basically riding in a blizzard.
Given the weather it was impressive that both Arielle and Elena held onto their runs. And in fact the competition for the podium spots was tough, with Hannah Teter only getting bumped into fourth by Elena’s final run, the second last of the night.
But it definitely looked like a case of ‘holding on’ for most of them. Despite the hype from the commentators, there would be no double-cork fireworks from Elena Hight.
For her part Kelly said afterwards that she’d wanted to “bring some new tricks to the table” and “step things up”. No doubt she wanted to demonstrate something special.
Something that would seal once and for all her dominance in the run up to the one major competition she hasn’t won in her long career – the Olympics.
But tonight the weather wouldn’t allow it. We’ll now have to wait until next season to see what the most successful competitive snowboarder ever has hidden up her sleeve.
X GAMES 2013 TIGNES WOMEN’S HALFPIPE FINAL RESULTS