It's #WomenShredWednesday at the iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado. With all four women's semi-final events going down later today, gear up for an exciting afternoon of freeski and snowboard action from lady rippers as they leave it all on the mountain for a chance to advance to their respective final later in the week.
Here's an in-depth look at what to expect during both women's snowboard semi-final events:
Women's Snowboard Superpipe Semi-Final
With an elite roster of U.S. front-runners, the world's best snowboarders will converge today at the Women's Snowboard Superpipe Semi-Final. The number of podium contenders for this specific discipline is especially deep, and today's semi will offer a glimpse of the heated battle royal to take place later this week at the Women's Snowboard Superpipe Final.
Reigning champion, Kaitlyn Farrington, made history during her winning run last year as the first woman to stomp back-to-back 900s in competition. But this year, it won't be so easy for Farrington; Kelly Clark publicly upped the ante by stating she's working on a switch 1080 in order to throw back-to-back 1080s this competition season. Even without this groundbreaking trick combination, Clark's amplitude and style secure her as one of the most dangerous threats in the pipe.
Expect solid performances from two-time Olympic snowboarders Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight. Hungry for an Olympic three-peat, Bleiler's amplitude and Hight's inventive style have the potential to not only shine bright today, but also earn them a podium at the final. Lastly, anticipate big things from the up-and-coming Arielle Gold. In the wake of a breakout 2013 season, where the high school student landed on two X Games podiums, Gold has proven she's got what it takes to stir the pot and make some waves.
Torah Bright is the final punctuation on an outstanding roster of pipe riders. Earning the Gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Australian-native has got the skills to thrill and style for miles.
Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Semi-Final
Dew Tour's snowboard slopestyle event history has been monopolized by an unrelenting head-to-head battle between U.S.'s Jamie Anderson and Canada's Spencer O'Brien. Today is no exception; expect a fiery face-off between the two at the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle Semi-Final this afternoon. As Dew Tour's two most decorated female athletes—O'Brien with 10 top-three finishes and Jamie Anderson with eight—it's safe to assume both riders have more than a good chance to land on the podium this year. If anything, with the inclusion of slopestyle in the 2014 Winter Olympics, today's battle will be even more intense compared to years past. Momentum's on Anderson's side heading into the pipe today, as she stole the win at the 2012 iON Mountain Championships, and forced O'Brien into a second place slot.
The aforementioned face-off won't be the only action on the mountain. Look out for Finnish rider, Enni Rukajärvi, a solid podium contender with three Dew Tour podiums; as well as Sarka Pancochova, a stylie Czech rider with two top-three Dew Tour finishes.
Read up on what’s happening on the freeski side in #WomenShredWednesday: Freeski.