Steamboat's Arielle Gold builds on monstrous season

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There isn’t much more to say about Arielle Gold.

The 16-year-old snowboarding sensation continued her banner year Wednesday at the X Games Tignes, finishing third in the half-pipe.

Perhaps it would have been more surprising had Gold not finished on the podium.

The Steamboat Springs snowboarder has burst onto the international scene this season, vaulting herself into the national spotlight and setting herself up to be one of the faces of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Wednesday’s result in France was Gold’s fifth podium in a major event this season.

She won the World Championships, captured bronze at the X Games in Aspen, picked up a silver at the U.S. Grand Prix and won the European Open in Switzerland.

On Wednesday, she finished her second run with an 83. Kelly Clark won with an 87.66, and Elena Hight was second with an 85.

Gold’s run consisted of a method, frontside 540 melon, backside 540 mute-grab, frontside 720 stale and backside 720.

“I think I might have been a little bit more excited in Aspen, just the vibe of being in my home state and everything,” Gold said in a U.S. Snowboarding news release. “The weather was better, so I was a bit happier with my riding there. Under the tricky circumstances, I think it all went really well. I am stoked to be on the podium with these two amazing girls.”

Fellow Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member Maddy Schaffrick was sixth, landing a score of 60.33 on her second run.

On the men’s side, Winter Sports Club member Benji Farrow qualified for the finals of the men’s half-pipe, finishing eighth with a 65.66 on his first run.

Taylor Gold missed qualifying, finishing in 12th.

The men’s half-pipe finals are Thursday.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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