Q&A: Gretchen Bleiler

Gretchen Bleiler, a 28-year-old professional snowboarder, was born in Ohio before moving to Aspen, Colo. when she was 10 where she learned to snowboard. She won her first X Games gold in 2003 and competed in her first Olympics in 2006 where she took silver. With those and countless other medals and accolades to her name, Bleiler heads to the Olympics as one of the athletes expected to rip in the halfpipe. She took some time before the Games to shed some light on her life.

You killed it at X, how does that feel going into the Olympics?

Bleiler: The momentum this has given me is great. This is just what I needed going into the Olympics. I’m pumped.

What can we expect you to throw down during the Games?

Bleiler: Watch out for my 900 and my signature Crippler 720. I might even throw in a surprise or two – stay tuned!

Bleiler in the halfpipe

What’s your one favorite piece of gear you ride with and why?

Bleiler: I have so many, but I’d have to say my signature neck gator with Oakley, I never get on the mountain without it. I also never compete without my iPod/iPhone. Every time I hit the pipe, I’m playing music on it. Music always gets me going.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

Bleiler: My mom. She has always been an inspiration to me and is my biggest supporter.

You have your own Oakley line. How big of a role did you play in the design process?

Bleiler: I had a huge role. That was very important to me going into it. Everything from the shape and cut of things to color choice and design. Designing my own line for Oakley has been such an amazing experience – a real dream come true.

Bleiler

What do you do to train in the off-season?

Bleiler: I love to surf! I also love to go to the gym and hit up 24 Hour Fitness. When I’m not on the mountain or in the ocean, I’m there!

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

Bleiler: I love Coke! As healthy as I eat during the season and keep up on my training, sometimes there’s nothing I want more after I compete than an ice cold Coke!

Unfortunately, she didn’t answer the following questions. If she gets back to us, we’ll be sure to update this post.

What’s one trick you’ve been working on but haven’t yet mastered?
You model too (and have had some racy photos printed). Do you worry about that sending the wrong image to girls and women who want to rip like you do?
What do you think about the argument that women athletes aren’t as good, or as fun to watch, as men?

—Ryan Dionne

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
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