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US Snowboarders Again Finish 1st, 2nd


For a second straight day the United States captured the gold and silver medals in the snowboarding halfpipe competition at the Turin Winter Olympics.

One day after Americans Shaun White and Danny Kass finished first and second in the men's snowboarding halfpipe, their teammates Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler won gold and silver in the women's halfpipe.

After the first of the two runs under beautiful, sunny skies in the final, Americans held the top three positions. But in what she described as the run of her life, Norway's Kjersti Buass won the bronze, knocking defending champion Kelly Clark into fourth place.

"I never thought this was possible," said Ms. Buass. "I heard that they said [before the run] that you're the last European who can split the Americans and I am like woe, woe, all Europe is depending on me."

Winner Hannah Teter, who, like many snowboarders, has a bubbly, free-spirited personality, described her thoughts.

"I just wanted to step it up and do my thing and go as big as possible," she said. "I was caught up with the energy and rush of it, the whole scene here, and I just felt super good."

So did her teammate Gretchen Bleiler, who won the silver medal.

"It was absolutely an unbelievable day," said Ms. Bleiler. "[Being at] the Olympics, and medaling at the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. And I worked so hard to get where I am today and it hasn't been easy, not one day of it. So many ups, so many downs, but it's just an unbelievable feeling, getting through all of that and accomplishing a dream and a goal.

Two more snowboarding events remain at these Olympics, the parallel giant slalom, and the new event of snowboard cross, where competitors race on a special course with varied obstacles and terrain.