Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboarder Taylor Gold won a silver medal Saturday in the halfpipe at the 2011 FIS Junior World Snowboard Championships in Valmalenco, Italy.
Gold posted the highest score in the qualification heats to advance to the finals. Japan’s Taku Kiraoka edged out Gold for the championship. Ayumni Nedefuji, also from Japan, placed third.
“I didn't really have any expectations,” Gold said in a U.S. Snowboarding Team news release. “I was just really happy that I was able to qualify for finals. I just wanted to put down a couple good runs. I wasn't really anticipating that I would make the podium. So it was a big surprise, and I'm really stoked on it.”
Gold threw down a solid run consisting of Michalchuck to a front 900, to a method, into a front 1080 and ending with a cab 900 to land silver.
The silver marks the second medal for the United States and Steamboat. Previously, Chloe Banning finished third in the women’s snowboard cross event.
"It's pretty amazing. Chloe Banning had a third-place finish here," Gold said. "I'm stoked to be part of that."
In the women's contest, Gold’s sister, Arielle Gold, advanced to the finals and finished eighth. Winter Sports Club rider Kirby Kelly finished 24th and failed to make the finals.
The 2011 FIS Junior World Snowboard Championships conclude today with the men's and women's slopestyle contest.