Gretchen in Vanity Fair

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Vancouver 2010 Olympics Watch: Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler

“The first thing that struck me when I met 2006 Turin silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler earlier this year was how much bad ass is contained in such a little frame. After all, the five-foot-five-inch half-pipe snowboarder is best known for a daredevil trick called the Crippler 540—an inverted aerial move with one and a half rotations and a backflip. “But new for this year will be a Crippler 720,” the 28-year-old e-mailed me last week, “where you rotate 180 degrees more.” Yowsers.

Bleiler was in New York City last summer unveiling her winter 2010 Oakley snowboarding outerwear and clothing line. After having skied Park City wearing her faux-fur-trimmed jacket, flattering snow pants, and super-soft organic T-shirts a few months before, I was looking forward to seeing her new pieces. From the playful urban hints on this season’s coat—including a graffiti graphic and toggle buttons—to snowboarding pants with an adjustable gathered cuff, I nearly forgot that the blonde sartorialist walking me through her stylish collection is also a three-time X Games gold medalist who can throw down tricks that put the word “extreme” in the term “extreme sports…"

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Author

Tess Weaver

Date

December 17, 2009