STRATTON, Vt., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- 2002 Olympic gold medalist
Kelly Clark and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Shaun White won today's US Open
halfpipe competition, the culminating event in the international Burton
Global Open Series, Presented by Motorola. Following the halfpipe awards,
Jake Burton, Founder and Chairman of Burton Snowboards, presented the first
ever Burton Global Open Series Championship awards to Torah Bright and
Shaun White, handing them each a $100,000 check -- the largest single
payout in snowboarding history.
"Man, I'm so pumped right now, and I'm definitely pumped on Jake for
throwing this much cash out there," said Shaun White. "It's one of those
things where I was going for the title, but it didn't seem attainable. A
few years back, I felt like I had a US Open curse on me because I never won
it, now I feel like the curse is broken for sure."
Torah was literally speechless when told that she had won the Global
Open Series championship title. "I can't talk -- oh my goodness. It's like
I scratched a scratchy (lottery ticket) and won $100,000 -- if only it was
that easy. Now I'm going to buy a black Porsche for my dad -- it's his
For eight months, riders have been competing at Burton Global Open
Series halfpipe and slopestyle events in New Zealand, Switzerland, Japan
and now the US, earning points towards the championship title. Torah Bright
earned the record-breaking payout after taking first place in halfpipe and
6th place in Park Style at the Nissan X-Trail Nippon Open 2007 and second
place in slopestyle and third place in halfpipe at the 2007 US Open. Shaun
White moved up the ranks in the Burton Global Open Series standings by
taking first in the halfpipe and second in Park Style at the Nissan X-Trail
Nippon Open and third in slopestyle and first in halfpipe at the US Open.
In today's halfpipe finals, it was a tight race between halfpipe
superstars Kelly Clark, Torah Bright and Gretchen Bleiler and showcased
some of the most progressive riding in women's halfpipe history. Kelly took
the lead after her first run with a frontside air, backside air, frontside
540 indy grab, frontside 720, Cab 360, earning $20,000 and a Motorola cell
phone. Torah's air to fakie tailgrab in her first run earned her the $5,000
Best Trick award presented by Nintendo and a new Nintendo Wii system.
Gretchen took second place in the women's halfpipe finals followed by Torah
in third place.
"It's pretty amazing to win the US Open halfpipe event again," said
Olympic gold medalist and Vermont native Kelly Clark. "I'm the only girl
who has won the US Open halfpipe three times, so it's a huge honor for me."
The men's halfpipe finals featured the heavies from the sport including
Mason Aguirre, Travis Rice, Danny Davis, Kevin Pearce, Steve Fisher, Antti
Autti and of course Shaun. Shaun stole the show from the start and just
kept outscoring himself. His best run earned him 94.75 points for a
frontside 1080, Cab 1080, frontside 900, backside 900, frontside 720 ending
with a switch alley oop backside rodeo 720. Danny Davis finished in second
place for the second year in a row. And Markus Malin from Finland rounded
out the podium with third place. Michael Goldschmidt won the $5,000 Best
Trick award presented by Nintendo Wii and a Nintendo Wii system for his
double grab air to fakie.
In addition to winning today's US Open halfpipe contest and the Global
Open Series title, Shaun White was also named the male TTR World Snowboard
Tour Champion. The women's TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion will be
announced after next week's Roxy Chicken Jam in Park City, Utah.
If you can't make it out to Stratton to watch this year's landmark
event in person, be sure to watch the 90-minute US Open show on NBC on
Sunday, March 18 at 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET. Or check out webcasts of the event
To download print-quality photos from the event, visit:
http://www.usopen-snowboarding.com/Pressroom.aspx and click on the 'Photos
for Publishing' link at the bottom of the web page. Enter the following to
access hi-res images:
username: usopen07 password: ridestratton
For more information on the US Open, head to www.opensnowboarding.com.
US Open Media Room
About the Burton Global Open Series, Presented by Motorola
The Burton Global Open Series events are the pinnacle snowboarding
events of the season. Founded by Jake Burton, the Opens have grown from
grassroots events to global spectacles attracting tens of thousands of
spectators and riders from around the world. Since the beginning, the Opens
have been driven by riders, for riders evolving with snowboarding and
riders' needs over the years. With events held in Europe, Japan, the United
States, New Zealand and Australia, the Opens set the standard for
snowboarding events around the globe. For more information, visit
www.opensnowboarding.com or www.motorola.com/burton
Head to www.burton.com to see live cybercasts of the US Open.
The Burton Global Open Series is part of the Ticket To Ride (TTR) World
Snowboard Tour, the largest group of independent freestyle snowboard events
in the world. TTR ranks riders based on their results at participating
competitions and crowns a TTR World Champion at the US Open. For more
information, visit www.ttrworldtour.com.
SOURCE Burton Snowboards