|ESPN.com: Snowboarding||[Print without images]|
|First-time Winter X gold medalist, Kaitlyn Farrington.|
Had you asked any finalist in Thursday's Women's SuperPipe field what it was going to take to beat Torah Bright at the beginning of this evening's competition, you may have heard some similar sentiments:
"It's impossible, unfortunately. Maybe I will try my 1080, but I never land it," said bronze medalist Sophie Rodriguez.
"I can learn s--- ..." said Kjersti Oestgaard Buaas, who finished sixth, but came in hot with a large and proper McTwist on every run.
But at the end of the day, it wasn't Kelly Clark's huge-ocity or Gretchen Bleiler's one-upsmanship (both ladies were no-shows in France) that did Bright in. It was 20-year-old Kaitlyn Farrington.
The Gnu girl from Sun Valley, Idaho might not have the competitive chops of her American counterparts, but if she continues linking bangers like she did today (in no particular order: back 9, inverted frontside 7, Cab 7, alley oop 5), the Torah/Kelly/Gretchen/Hannah show could soon be renamed to something even more convoluted.
Despite the absence of the le trio Américain, the fact that there was still an engaging contest in Tignes is good news for women's pipe riding.
"Every contest I've been moving up. It feels really good to be improving this season," said Farrington, who had never been on a podium until this season.
Granted, Bright's run was no trifling matter, and she led the pack after her first run. But Farrington's second run score of 97.00 busted the doors off Bright's 95.00, and the Olympic Gold Medalist couldn't top it. "I came here exhausted, I'll leave exhausted, and I just want to lay down a safe run. I'm so stoked for Kaitlyn. That back 9 is awesome. Good for her," she said.
For Farrington, the pressure was off from the get-go. "I'm just glad to be here. For me, this is like vacation. I squeaked into the finals and now I can't even believe it. This is my first medal at the X Games. I couldn't be happier."
Women's SuperPipe finals results:
1. Kaitlyn Farrington, 97.00
2. Torah Bright, 95.00
3. Sophie Rodriguez, 87.00
4. Mercedes Nicoll, 82.33
5. Ellery Hollingsworth, 79.00
6. Kjersti Oestgaard Buass, 78.66