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Gretchen Bleiler
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post-32673-1266701394_thumb.jpgGretchen Bleiler (born on April 10, 1981 in Toledo, Ohio ) is a professional halfpipe snowboarder. She currently resides in Aspen, Colorado

Bleiler aspired to compete in the Winter X Games from a very young age, and found her passion in snowboarding at age 11 (1992).[2] She has been riding ever since and became professional in 1996. Among her accomplishments, she jump-started the invert revolution for female riders as the first to land a Crippler 540 in competition, and won more halfpipe competitions in 2003, 2005 and 2006 than any other female snowboarder.[3] In the pre-Olympic season she won four of the five US Olympic halfpipe qualifiers and is also a four-time X Games gold medalist, most recently winning the superpipe at Winter X Games XIV.[3]

In 2003, she was a U.S. snowboard Grand Prix champion, a U.S. Open of snowboarding champion, and a Triple Crown of Snowboarding champion.[2][4][5].

Bleiler, who missed qualifying for the 2002 Winter Olympics due to a tiebreaker, won a silver medal in the women's halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.[6]

Starting in 2007, Bleiler expanded her career into snowboard and outerwear design, through Oakley and K2 Snowboarding, designing her own signature outerwear line for Oakley, and participating in the K2 Alliance, which develops and tests women's products, as well as working on the graphics for several K2 Boards. In 2008, she helped to create a new all-female invitational superpipe competition at Snowmass called the Snow Angels Invitational.[7]

While competing in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, many considered Bleiler a gold medal favorite. However, she fell on both of her final runs, and took a disappointing 11th place.

When she is not competing, Bleiler enjoys surfing, mountain biking, interior design and fashion.[8] She is also active in several environmental organizations, including the Aspen Snomass Save Snow campaign, and stopglobalwarming.org.[7]

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Career highlights

2010 X Games Superpipe Gold Medalist

2008 Winter Dew Tour Superpipe Champion (Breckenridge, Co)

2008 X Games Halfpipe Gold Medalist

2006 FIS World Cup 1st Place, Saas Fe, Switzerland

2006 Olympic silver medalist

2006 Overall Grand Prix Champion; won four of the five Grand Prix events determining Olympic team

2005 X Games and Gravity Games Gold Medalist

2005 US Open Halfpipe Champion

FIS World Cup 1st Place, Bardonecchia, Italy

Eight straight wins in 2003

2003 X Games Halfpipe Gold Medalist

2003 US Open Champion

Won 2003 Overall Grand Prix Title

One of only four females invited to coveted 2003 Arctic Challenge

2002 and 2003 Vans Triple Crown Overall Title Winner

Won 2003 World SuperPipe Championships

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