Gold targets heaven in a halfpipe
By Julian Linden
NEW YORK (Reuters) - If her surname is any indication of what she can achieve, Arielle Gold really was born to win.
Now, the American teenager has the chance to fulfill her destiny as she prepares to compete in one of the most exciting and dangerous sports at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The 17-year-old snowboarder is entered in the women's halfpipe and despite being among the youngest members of a star-studded American team, she has emerged as one of the favorites after a meteoric rise over the past 18 months.
Gold first came to prominence in 2012 when she won two silver medals, in the halfpipe and slopestyle, at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Austria. Later that year, she won gold in the halfpipe at the world junior championships in Spain.
In early 2013, she won her first senior world championship in Quebec, Canada aged just 16, becoming the second youngest competitor ever to win the title.
A week later, she won bronze at the Winter X Games in her home state of Colorado after getting a late call-up as an alternate when one of her older team mates withdrew injured.
And now, she is on the verge of heading to her first Olympics, training and competing with the women who inspired her to take up the sport.
"I've been looking up to these guys ever since I started snowboarding," she said. Continued...