The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 13: Skeleton & Snowboarding

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

This week, we stay in Salt Lake City as the American women continued their dominance in capturing Golds.

2002, Salt Lake City – Tristan Gale, Skeleton

Gale competed for gold under enormous pressure: it was women’s skeleton’s Olympic debut in front of her hometown crowd during a blizzard. But with the pressure of a hometown crowd came the familiarity of sliding on her hometown track, and she finished a mere one-hundredth of a second in front of teammate Lea Ann Parsley to win the first-ever women’s skeleton Olympic gold medal. She won a world cup later that year on the same track, and in 2003 earned bronze at the world championships. Gale remains Team USA’s only women’s skeleton Olympic champion.

2002, Salt Lake City – Kelly Clark, Snowboarding

Before Clark was a pioneer and the most dominant force in women’s snowboarding, she was a teenager competing at her first Olympic Games. Her halfpipe gold kicked off a string of American dominance in the discipline; two U.S. women have been on all Olympic halfpipe podiums since. Clark finished fourth at her second Games in 2006, but bounced back to win bronze in both 2010 and 2014. Now 32, she has over 60 career wins to her name and shows no signs of slowing down.