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Faces of competitive snowboarding

5 of 24

Taylor Gold ~ Halfpipe

Photograph By Courtesy of Burton

When Taylor Gold rose from rookie status to land one of four spots on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team this year, there was some concern as to whether the excitement that propelled him to podiums in the Olympic qualifying season could continue once the pressure was turned all the way on. Though Gold didn't live up to his name in Sochi, he rebated that performance with a commanding win at the U.S. Open. His run was both technical and stylish and included seldom-seen old school grabs like a Taipan and chicken salad that delighted over-30 snowboarders everywhere.