You most likely know the name, Shaun White. Known for his talent in snowboarding’s halfpipe, he has won a series of Olympic gold medals and X Games medals. You may also know the name, Red Gerard. Coming out of the 2018 Winter Olympics, Gerard garnered attention when he won the gold medal in slopestyle wearing his roommate’s jacket after losing his own. While snowboarding has traditionally been a male-focused sport, it has started to gain a strong following of female athletes. Since the 2018 Winter Olympics female snowboarders have gained attention as well. Chloe Kim, age 17 at the time, not only won the gold medal but also became the first woman to land two 1080-degree spins in an Olympic Competition.
Chloe Kim at the 2018 Olympics
Due to the Olympics being every four years, other competitions are in place for snowboarders to show off their skills such as the Winter X Games. The Winter X Games is an annual extreme winter sports competition where athletes around the world come to compete for gold and fame. Since the 2018 Winter Olympics, women snowboarders have had the opportunity to grow and expand because of the X Games. This year’s X Games which occurred from January 23 to January 26, held up to the ever-evolving expectations of women’s snowboarding. While Kim was not present, fellow American Jamie Anderson made history with her win in slopestyle. Anderson received her 17th X Games medal making her tied with Joe Parsons as the second most decorated X Games athlete. Anderson is also the only female with this title making her an icon for all athletes. As women snowboarding continues to grow the age of athletes continues to vary. While Anderson is still making history at age 29, new snowboarders are coming onto the scene at as young as 14, like Brooke D’Hondt, who competed in the X Games for the first time this year in the superpipe. Even more impressive is that D’Hondt secured 6th place in the competition.
Jamie Anderson at X Games 2020
Another athlete making great strides for women’s snowboarding is Maddie Mastro. Mastro is 19 years old and has been making waves since 2016 when she came on the snowboarding scene. Mastro competed in the 2018 Olympics as well and successfully became the first female snowboarder to land the double crippler in the halfpipe in 2019. With all these women changing the way women’s snowboarding is being viewed, it’s not surprising to see the number of new tricks being introduced each year. As the sport continues to grow, more and more women will be involved and the tricks viewed as groundbreaking today will become the norm for athletes in the future.
Edited by Kenzie Dye