Snowboarding is one of the most popular winter sport in the Olympics. It is also one of the most exciting ones, especially as it combines elements of other board sports such as surfing, skateboarding, and skiing. When the sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1998, it became an instant hit with athletes and Olympic followers alike.
Aside from being a well-liked sport, snowboarding is an arena where female athletes thrive. In fact, this sport provides the same events for women as it does for men. These events include big air, halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, slopestyle, and snowboard cross.
With the thrills and challenges offered by this sport, there is no wonder that this sport is popular among aspiring men and women athletes. Wondering who the best female snowboarders of all time are? Check out the list below.
When talking about snowboarding legends, you can never leave out French athlete Karine Ruby. As a participant in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Ruby won over 25 medals for the sport, 20 of which are gold medals. She led a highly successful career which led her to be dubbed as the Olympics’ “first golden girl” as she won the very first snowboarding competition in Nagano in 1998.
However, her career was cut short when she died on Mont Blanc back in May 2009. She was working as a guide on the mountain when she experienced an accident while descending the Glacier du Geant causing her unexpected death.
Known as one of the most influential snowboarders in history, Janna Meyen-Weatherby is another notable entry on this list. She has been in the arena for more than 22 years, making her one of the veterans in the sport.
Because of her skills and experience, she was able to garner four gold, one silver, and one bronze medal. She specializes in slopestyle, a challenging event in snowboarding in which athletes have to go through an obstacle course composed of rails and jumps, just to name a few.
Considered as America’s snowboarding sweetheart, Jamie Anderson is another athlete who achieved a significant number of Olympic medals. The winner of two golds and a silver, Anderson made a name in the sport for being the first woman to ever win two golds in the Olympics. She excelled in slopestyle, making her the most awarded slopestyle athlete among men and women.
Currently, she is running a foundation that supports talented young individuals who cannot afford the sport. She is also active in other organizations, especially the Protect Our Winters alliance that supports campaigns against climate change.
Next on our list is Kelly Clark, who is known for being one of the first women to successfully and confidently perform the inverted air. Like other entries on this list, Clark started practicing the sport at an early age. In fact, she decided to defer her entrance to college to pursue her dream of becoming a professional snowboarder right out of high school.
Currently, she has a record of one gold medal back in Salt Lake City 2002 during the halfpipe event for women. Then, she went on to win two bronze medals during the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 competitions.
Canadian snowboarder Jess Kimura has been an influential athlete over the past 10 years. She has one silver medal under her belt from the X Games Real Snow competition in 2013. Right now, she has been active in the filmmaking industry in which she creates, produces and funds an all-female project titled The Uninvited. She also hosts events to show support to female snowboarders.
Aside from this, she has also been awarded by many award-giving bodies including TransWorld SNOWboarding’s Women’s Video Part of the Year awards three times, Women’s Rider of the Year Awards twice and Women’s Reader’s Choice awards five times. She also made it to ESPN’s Top 50 Most Influential People in Action Sports.
The Bottom Line
Snowboarding is definitely a popular, challenging and competitive sport. With these women at the helm of this arena, there is no wonder why female snowboarders are known as some of the most influential women athletes in the last years and even in history.
Featured image: xgames.com