FROM OLYMPIC GOLD TO BRUT GOLD (ARMAND DE BRIGNAC CHAMPAGNE).
2014 OLYMPIC SNOWBOARD WOMEN’S HALF-PIPE GOLD MEDALIST, KAITLYN FARRINGTON
Kaitlyn Farrington surprised the snowboard world and even herself last winter, winning the gold medal in the Women’s Half-Pipe competition at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. She was the last snowboarder named to the U.S. Team at the final qualifying event, yet edged out three former gold medalists — defending champion Torah Bright (2010), Hannah Teter (2006), and Kelly Clark (2002) — to win 2014 Olympic Gold. Kaitlyn’s goals for the Olympics were just to make it to the finals, but executing one of the most technically demanding sequences of the night, highlighted by a backward 720-degree (2 turn) spin and a backward 900-degree (2½ turn) spin, Kaitlyn put together the run of a lifetime.
GNU has released the Limited Edition B-PRO GOLD KAITLYN FARRINGTON signature snowboard. Gold and sparkly like her medal, this snowboard can be yours with a click of the mouse, because GNU is giving one away to a lucky Style of Sport reader! All you have to do is tell us why you love winter. We figure if you want this snowboard you do! Deadline for entries is Jan. 15 at midnight. (CONTEST DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED. THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED MONDAY, JAN. 19!)
We recently spoke to Kaitlyn about her whirlwind 2014 and goals for 2015. Much was made during the Olympics of the cruddy conditions of the half pipe and I was curious how she dealt with that obstacle. “Everybody was riding the same pipe and dealing with same problem,” she told me. “You couldn’t let it wear you down.” Qualifiers, semi-finals and finals were all the same day, and she competed in all three, giving her more time in that pipe to practice. “I had nothing to lose dropping into the finals and was just trying to make it as fun as possible. When I’m having fun that’s when I ride the best.”
Kaitlyn is looking forward to a relaxing post Olympic season “not chasing the contests”, although the Dew Tour and X-Games are on tap, as well as the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom. This legendary event is having its 30th anniversary this year, but usually conflicts with bigger contests during the season. It is regarded as the predecessor to boardercross and has been won by some of the biggest names in the history of snowboarding. The winner’s prize is a Duct Tape trophy and an embroidered Carhartt jacket. It’s a far cry from Olympic Gold, but “to just go snowboarding and enjoy it again” sounds kind of like the dream life to us!
Photographs top to bottom: Shay Williams, ©Valdrin Xhema/epa/Corbis