The winter Olympics is one of the greatest sporting spectacles on planet Earth today. The Games can often be overshadowed by their summer scheduled contemporary. But with sports such as Ice Hockey, Bobsledding, and Ski Jumping, the Winter Games are a sight to behold in their own right.
In recent years, another sporting event that has taken the Winter Games by storm is Snowboarding. If you’re a fan of snowboarding, then you may already know some of the most successful snowboarders in the history of the Winter Olympics. But if you’re new to the sport, you may be wondering who the top contenders are and when it was first introduced to the winter games.
Snowboarding made its debut at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, introducing two individual events – the men’s and women’s Giant Slalom. Since then, the number of events has grown to include Slopestyle and Halfpipe for both men and women, as well as Parallel Giant Slalom and Snowboard Cross for both sexes.
In fact, the sport has grown so much so that online bookmakers such as Bovada, whose sports offering can be found at www.bovada.lv, now provide betting on Snowboarding, as well as a whole host of other Winter Sports and popular sports in general.
The most recent Winter Olympics took place last year, therefore we will all have to wait another three years to see the world’s finest snowboarders on display on the grandest stage of them all. But who are those talented athletes?
1. Shaun White
The most successful snowboarders in the history of the Winter Olympics have racked up a total of 24 medals to date. The top contender is Shaun White, an American snowboarder who holds the title of most decorated snowboarder of all time. He’s won an impressive four Olympic gold medals, three of which were in Halfpipe, and one in Slopestyle. He also holds seven gold medals from the X Games, where he has been a regular competitor since 2003.
2. Torah Bright
The second most successful snowboarder is Torah Bright, an Australian who has won two Olympic gold medals in Halfpipe and one in Slopestyle. She also holds three silver medals from the X Games, and she was the first woman to land a Cab 900 in competition.
3. Peetu Piiroinen
Finnish snowboarder Peetu Piiroinen has won three Olympic medals – one gold, one silver, and one bronze – as well as two silver medals at the X Games. He is best known for his technical prowess in the Halfpipe.
4. Kelly Clark
The next most successful snowboarder is another American, Kelly Clark, who has won three Olympic medals – one gold, one silver, and one bronze. She has also won four gold medals and one silver medal at the X Games, making her the most decorated female snowboarder in the history of the Winter Olympics.
5. Danny Kass
Danny Kass is a snowboarding legend who made his mark in the Winter Olympics. Born in California, USA, he gained international attention after taking home silver medals at both the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. He made history by becoming the first person to land a double cork 1080 during the 2006 Olympics, winning him an avalanche of praise from fans of snowboarding.
Beyond these accomplishments, Danny also pushed boundaries with innovative tricks like double grabs and nose bonks. His unique style and wild attitude endeared him to many in the snowboarding world and beyond. While his Olympic successes may have cemented his place as one of the greatest snowboarders of all time, it’s truly his indomitable spirit that stands above all else.
6. Gretchen Bleiler
Gretchen Bleiler is one of the greatest snowboarders of all time, having made waves in the Winter Olympics and beyond. Born in Ohio but raised in Colorado, she was a natural talent from a young age.
After becoming one of the first females to land a 1080 at the 2002 Winter X Games, her skills earned her a spot on the US Olympic Snowboard Team for both 2006 and 2010. But it wasn’t enough for Gretchen; she wanted to make history as an Olympian by performing the hardest trick possible: The Crippler.
She succeeded, becoming the first person ever to land this trick during an Olympic run and winning silver at Turin 2006. Her determination and skill inspired countless others to become more involved in snowboarding, making her an icon of the sport.
7. Pierre Vaultier
Finally, French snowboarder Pierre Vaultier is the fifth most successful snowboarder, with two Olympic gold medals for Snowboard Cross, and one gold and one silver medal from the X Games.
Snowboarding is one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in the Winter Olympics, and these are just five of the most successful snowboarders in the history of the Winter Olympics, who have done their bit to set the bar high for future competitors.
But those trailblazers have done their utmost in ensuring that the future is bright for the sport of snowboarding, so much so that more and more of the disciplines events are added to the Winter Olympics calendar every year.
At the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan – the sport’s debut year on the grandest stage – snowboarding featured just four events, two for both men and women. The first of those was the halfpipe and the second was the giant slalom. That year, it was the Germans that came out on top, picking up four medals across the four competitions.
The same amount of events took place in Salt Lake City in 2002, however, this time it was the United States of America that came out on top, on home turf no less. They picked up five medals that year. But if we fast forward two decades, the number of events under the snowboarding discipline has more than doubled.
At last year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, there was a whopping eleven events, namely the halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, big air, slopestyle, and snowboard cross, which were available to both men and women. Then, for the first time ever, there was a team event, namely the team snowboard cross. That event was making its debut at the Winter Olympics and was won by the American team consisting of Nick Baumgartner and Lindsey Jacobellis.
Their gold medal was the third gold medal won by Team USA in Beijing and they shared the top spot in the snowboarding class alongside Austria, with both nations tied on three golds each. Canada picked up a mighty six medals in total, but only one of those was golden.