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Farrington’s Parents Can Fly with a Little Help

The parents of halfpipe snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington might never have seen their daughter compete live at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games without a little help from their friends - and the 10,000 residents of Sun Valley, Idaho.

In the lead-up to the Games, when it became clear that Farrington, 24, would be selected for a USA team that boasts Kelly Clark (USA), the most succcesful snowboarder of all time, her hometown began raising money to fly her parents to Russia.

"They had snowboarding boots around town,” explained her mother, Suz, to the Olympic News Service on Wednesday.

"With a picture of the three of us that said, 'Help send Kaitlyn's parent's to Russia.' They put it out on the radio. It's a small community of only 10,000 people and everybody was very helpful.”

Farrington was brought up with her older sister Jessalyn in an environment not obviously conducive to snowboarding. "I grew up on a ranch in Bellevue (Idaho) and made it all the way to the Olympics in Russia,” she said. "If you believe in yourself, that's half of it.”

Luckily for her, there was a ski resort close by.

"She started skiing at the age of 4 and switched to snowboarding at age 9,” said Suz, adding that it was "just awesome” to be able to see her daughter join Clark in Wednesday's halfpipe final with the highest score of the semifinal – and finally beating her team mate and the rest of the 12-ladies-final to grab a well-deserved Gold.

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Kaitlyn Farrington Stuns Former Champions to Win

Kaitlyn Farrington upset three former Olympic champions to take women's halfpipe snowboarding gold at the Sochi Games on Wednesday.

The American had failed to make the final directly from the heats, needing a second chance semi-final to progress, but produced a stunning second run to score 91.75.

Vancouver 2010 winner Torah Bright of Australia missed out on gold by just 0.25 while veteran Salt Lake City 2002 champion Kelly Clark, 30, took bronze with a score of 90.75.

Turin 2006 gold medallist Hannah Teter missed out on another medal by just 0.25 to her American compatriot.

For more information about the winter olympics, visit
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Vic Wild Show Reloaded

The Olympic debut of parallel slalom at the XXII Olympic Winter Games at Sochi provided a spectacular men's event with Vic Wild (RUS) crowning himself double Olympic Champion edging off Zan Kosir (SLO) and Benjamin Karl (AUT) to second and third in front of a roaring home crowd.

USA-born Vic Wild (RUS) won a second Gold medal for his adopted country by beating his training partner Zan Kosir (SLO) in the men's psl men's final this Saturday.

Kosir, who took Silver, also won his second medal at Sochi 2014 after getting Bronze in Wednesday's parallel giant slalom, which was also won by Wild when Kosir had expressed his disappointment at not racing Wild in Wednesday's final.

Wild, who let out a primal roar after surviving a scare in the semifinals, was less vocal after his final run. He rode past the finish line with his arms outstretched to the cheering, flag-waving crowd then covered his eyes as if in disbelief.

"To win the other day was the greatest feeling of my life. I can't believe it,” he said after the race, calling the second win "beyond believable”.

Wild, who became a Russian citizen just two years ago, added: "All those power drills I did in the summer, they really paid off. Nobody could keep up.”

The husband of a Russian raceboarder was aggressive in all his runs on Saturday and flew down the course in complete control except in one semifinal run against Benjamin Karl (AUT).

Karl, a four-time World Champion, who easily won the Bronze medal against Arron March (ITA), went over to Wild after the Gold medal race and kneeled before him, making the sign of the cross.

"My goal was to bring home a Gold medal, but the bronze is blinking like Gold right now. I am 28 for sure I will be riding PyeongChang,” the 2010 PGS Silver medallist said, referring to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Wild, who used to compete for the United States, grew frustrated with the lack of funding for downhill snowboarding. He married snowboarder Alena Zavarzina (RUS) - the bronze medallist in the ladies' parallel giant slalom - and became a Russian citizen in 2012.

Wild said he made the right decision in racing for Russia.

"I wouldn't even be here if I hadn't. I wouldn't be snowboarding,” he said. "It wasn't like I had an opportunity in the US and then decided to go to Russia. It's not like there was an option.

I had to make a life for myself, I had to make money. It was the only way if I wanted to snowboard.”

Full results can be viewed at
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Historic Win for Dujmovits

The penultimate day of the XXII Olympic Winter Games featured an historic result when the first ever Olympic parallel slalom took place at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Julia Dujmovits (AUT) earned her chapter in the history books relegating German racers Anke Karstens and Amelie Kober to second and third respectively.

Dujmovits recovered from a slow first run in the final to beat Anke Karstens (GER) in the second and win Austria its first Gold medal in an Olympic snowboard event.

"I'm still so stoked. I can't believe it. I never thought about it,” Dujmovits, who will be the flag bearer for Austria at the closing ceremony tomorrow, said after winning the race. "I told myself today, 'Focus, focus, focus'. It's amazing to have Gold.” Amelie Kober (GER) won bronze after beating Corinna Boccacini (ITA) in the race for third.

Finishing strong despite aggravating an elbow injury in a crash during the semifinals, Kober joined with Karstens to become the first German twosome to reach the podium in the same snowboard event at an Olympic Winter Games.

Kober rejoiced in winning a medal alongside her roommate. "There is an unwritten rule that we don't talk about anything. This is a moment we can talk about when we are 105 years old and without teeth,” the mother of one said.

Karstens said her medal was already pledged to someone else. "I promised my boyfriend [former racer Tyler Jewell (USA)] I would get him a medal for his birthday so, 'Hey, you got it,'” she said.

The large, chanting and flag-waving crowd was disappointed that all three of its favourite Russian snowboarders failed to move into the finals. The 2013 world champion Ekaterina Tudegesheva (RUS), 2014 parallel giant slalom Bronze medallist Alena Zavarzina (RUS) and Natalia Soboleva (RUS) all failed to make it past the 1/8 finals.

Pre-race favourite Patrizia Kummer (SUI), who won gold in the parallel giant slalom on Wednesday, also failed to win her 1/8 final run.

For complete results, visit
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Pierre Vaultier Claims Olympic Gold

Pierre Vaultier (FRA) won gold in the men's snowboard cross final at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games ahead of Nikolay Olyunin (RUS) and Alex Deibold (USA) today, in a sloppy wet final with heavy fog that made it hard to see at the top of the course.

Three-time Olympian Vaultier, 26, and 2010 Junior World Champion Olyunin, 22, both won each of their rounds leading up to the final and did not face one another until the final round.

After the finish, Vaultier, who was racing with a torn ACL which he had suffered in bad crash during the Lake Louise World Cup event last December, pumped his arms in the air and screamed wildly in jubilation.

"When I passed the finish line, I think I was still up in the air [from the last jump],” said the Frenchman. "My luck was that I didn't compete against the Russian until the finals. I think that played in my favour.”

His rival from Siberia had said a year ago that he had planned to retire after Sochi 2014. But he showed now signs of being done during his races, which thrilled a partisan crowd.

Wearing Russian colours and waving flags and banners, the spectators shrugged off the constant rain and fog and helped cheer Olyunin down the course, roaring loudly with each of his wins.

"I think he's a great rider and he deserves this,” he said about the new Olympic Champion, before joking: "But I will never forgive him for it.”

As is common in this anything-can-happen event, several of the medal hopes tumbled out in the early rounds.

Three-time Olympian Nate Holland (USA) lost speed after flying too high on a roller and failed to move into the quarterfinal.

Reigning World Champion Alex Pullin (AUS) lost his balance and fell behind the crowd in his quarterfinal.

World cup leader Omar Visintin (ITA) was in the lead in his semifinal run when he had a nasty run-in with the rider behind him and crashed out of the race.

The men's snowboard cross event was originally scheduled for Monday, but heavy fog caused officials to postpone it.

Visibility had improved at the beginning of Tuesday's racing but as the morning progressed the fog started to cover the course and it became harder to see, although enough visibility remained to run the finals.

"I enjoy the adverse conditions. I've never minded bad weather - it's just something you have to prepare yourself for,” Deibold said.

The 27-year-old did not make the USA snowboarding team for Vancouver 2010 but went anyway as a wax technician to help his teammates. He said that gave him motivation to work hard to medal at Sochi 2014.

Check the full results at
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Samkova, Douschan Win Gold at Universiade

Eva Samkova (CZE) and Hanno Douschan (AUT) have won the snowboard cross event of the 2013 Winter Universiade currently staged at Trentino.

Both came out successfully of all of their heats and thus deservedly clinched the titles.

For the 20-year-old girl, it's the second win within just a few days after her World Cup triumph at Montafon on Dec 7. Samkova edged off her countrywoman Katerina Chourova and thus celebrated a 1-2 punch for the Czech Republic.

"Everyone expected me to win, so the pressure was high on me. It's great to share this success with my team mate who finished also on the podium today. Next target is the World Cup in Lake Louise,” said Samkova.

Zuzanna Smykala from Poland rounded out the podium as third underlining that all three had secured the top 3 times in yesterday time trials not for nothing.

On the men's side of things, Hanno Douschan (AUT) secured his career's biggest success. The Austrian rider kept the momentum from his good performance at Montafon last weekend and relegated fastest qualifier Nikolay Olyunin (RUS) as well as Leo Trespeuch (FRA) to second and third respectively.

"It was a very strong final, but I was better than my rivals. I was able to overtake Olyunin after the first turn and kept the lead until the finish line. I wanted a medal, Gold is a dream come true,” said Douschan.

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Clark Tops First Olympic Qualifier

BRECKENRIDGE, CO. (Dec. 14) – Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) edged a little closer to her fourth Olympic Winter Games Saturday when she placed second in the halfpipe snowboarding finals and became the top U.S. finisher in the first Olympic qualifying event at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships. Australian Torah Bright won the halfpipe final, while 13-year old rookie Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA) finished third. Clark will roll confidently into the next qualification event, the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Dec. 21-22.

• Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) edged a little closer to her fourth Olympic Winter Games Saturday when she placed second in the halfpipe snowboarding finals and became the top U.S. finisher in the first Olympic qualifying event at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships at Breckenridge.
• Australian Torah Bright won the halfpipe final, while U.S. Snowboarding rookie Chloe Kim (La Palma, CA) finished third. At only 13 years old, Kim is not yet eligible for the Olympics, but she shows huge potential for the sport after her first Dew Tour performance.
• Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished just off the podium in fourth, just a couple hours after her brother Taylor Gold (also Steamboat) finished third in the men's halfpipe final.
• On Saturday the U.S. team showed it has a tremendous depth of talent with veterans and rookies on the podium.
• Clark is in a strong position going into the next four qualification events. The top snowboarding athletes in the Olympic qualification hunt are Clark, then Gold, Kaitlyn Farrington (Salt Lake City, UT), Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) at and Elena Hight (S. Lake Tahoe, CA).
• Selection to the Olympic snowboarding team will be made from athletes who have a top-four finish against the entire field in one of five selection events. Those athletes will be ranked with their best two of five qualifying events using World Cup scoring (1,000 point scale) comparing only USA athletes.
• Clark landed her first frontside 1080 of the contest season and will be looking to link back-to-back 1080s going into Sochi.
• Clark's second-place run: Frontside air, backside 540, frontside 1080, cab 720, frontside 540 and frontside 720.
• Clark will roll confidently into the next qualification event, the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Dec. 21-22.
• Men's slopestyle finals will wrap up the first Olympic qualification event Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EST and air live on NBCSN. All competition can be streamed live on

Kelly Clark
I'm so happy with my second place finish. It's really about getting those points to qualify for the Olympics at these events. I thought Torah rode amazing and coming in second to her is a good day any day. Honestly getting the second place today with those first place Olympic points…I've never been so happy to get second. I feel like I won this thing today. That was really my goal was to get those points. Ultimately what it means to me is hopefully I'll have assurance of that spot sooner, where I can simply focus on my riding.

Chloe Kim
It's my first Dew Tour, so that was exciting. It feels great. I really wasn't expecting this.
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Eva Samková & Markus Schairer Clinch World Cup

Eva Samková (CZE) and Markus Schairer (AUT) have won the first snowboard cross of the 2014 FIS World Cup season in Montafon.

The three-time Junior World Champion dominated the women's final like all of her heats before and related previous year's winner Dominique Maltais (CAN) and 2009 World Champion Helene Olafsen (NOR), who thus successfully had overcome another knee injury, to second and third.

"It was a perfect day, everything went fine, instead my first qualification run. That wasn't the one. But I improved and posted the best time”, said Samková who had secured her spot in the finals nailing it in the second run of the time trials this morning.

As a result, she 'only' entered the finals with start number 13 but quickly proved that she would have deserved #1.

"In the finals, I tried to have some good starts to avoid any kind of problems.” And that mission worked out. In all of her heats, the Czech girl got the hole shot and stormed down to the finish in first position.

In the end, she claimed her career's second World Cup win after Blue Mountain last February: "It's been the perfect start into the new season and I guess the six-week training camp in New Zealand is the reason for that.”

However, Dominique Maltais, the most dominating women on the circuit of the past three years and reigning World Cup title holder, came close to beat Samkova in the final run but had to admit defeat in the end.

"In the final, Eva (Samková) was very fast. My tactic was to follow her as good as I can. I tried to pass her but had a few mistakes so it didn't work out. But finishing second is a good start into the new season. I'm really stoked,” explained the 2013 FIS World Championships Silver medallist.

Home soil win for Schairer
On the men's side of things, local hero Schairer fulfilled his dream of a home soil win on the Seebliga in front of his home crowd.

At the season's first World Cup staged in Vorarlberg, Austria, the 2013 Vice World Champion came out on top of an exciting and close final edging off Omar Visintin (ITA), who had won the Montafon race last winter, to the runner-up position in what can be called a super-tight photo finish.

"It was a weekend you can only dream of. I won the qualifiers and the race,” cheered Schairer after his career's fourth win.

"Today, I just overslept the first two starts but was able to still win the heats. I'm super happy about this win in front of my home crowd. You could hear them scream at the start. That's the icing on the cake.”

Just like on the women's side, runner-up Visintin, who had battled his way to the final in every heat with Schairer, was also stoked about the result.

"The race and the slope were great. It was a lot of fun. Markus (Schairer) was simply the fastest one out there and that was already obvious yesterday. He deserved to win and I'm glad about my second rank.”

Kevin Hill (CAN) rounded out the podium as third thus celebrating his career's first ever World Cup podium.

"I felt good after the first heat. It was an awesome race for me. I was totally happy. Top-3 was all I could ask for.”

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Course Design for Montafon Unveiled

Just in time, Local Organisers have published the official course design for the Montafon SBX World Cup event. As previously reported, the whole set-up has been moved downhill from last year.

The 2013 course, designed by Anders Forsell (SWE) of Snowparkconsulting, now starts with a very fast section where in 2012 the first bank was placed.

This first high-speed part was reshaped for today's training, and is now working well according to last year's Montafon WC runner-up Markus Schairer (AUT).

The first turn follows some jumps and leads into a roller section from where the racers will go into berm #2.

A long straight section peppered with rollers and jumps brings the athletes into the last two banks before leading into the finish on a jump line.

Go to for a full view on the course.
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Season Over for Michael Hämmerle

It's been the worst start into the season for the hosting nation right the day before the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup winter of 2014 was supposed to kick off.

Michael Haemmerle, the older of the two brothers competing for Snowboard Team Austria, injured his knee badly during the test run session staged yesterday and thus one day prior to today's official training.

"Gino” was the second athlete on the course who was about to check the practicability of the course.

Test runs are mandatory and usual on the World Cup circuit to find out if the shaper crew has to make some more adjustments.

While 2009 World Champion Markus Schairer, the first out of the start gate, didn't look well at the third jump but managed to clean it, Hämmerle landed unluckily after an unstable air time and tore his left ACL.

"It was a heavy impact on the knees when he landed on his backside. We were guessing right away that he tore his ACL.

Unfortunately it turned out that we were right,” said Austria's SBX head coach Tom Greil.

Hämmerle underwent surgery a few hours later in Schruns.

"It's a bitter season's out for him and the team. Gino was in a good shape. But he is strong and has the will to fight back. We all will support him.”

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