Bleiler Takes a Big Bite Out of X
Hometown girl and snowboarding icon Gretchen Bleiler didn’t wait for this year’s Winter X Games to accomplish another unprecedented feat in the world of women’s snowboarding. The 26-year-old local became just the fourth women and third action sports athlete to grace the cover of ESPN Magazine during the publication’s 10-year history. The cover shot and feature article that are all over magazine racks this week come just in time for Bleiler’s prodigal return to the area for Winter X Games 12, an event she considers the biggest of the competition season.
As if that weren’t impressive enough, Bleiler is currently in the midst of designing her own signature clothing and outerwear line for Oakley, due to debut next season. This project is perhaps even more indicative of Bleiler’s success when one considers Oakley’s status as a trend-setting industry powerhouse with a who’s who roster of action sports athletes, and the fact that this new line is the first of its kind for any Oakley rider, male or female.
Finally, there’s the pile of competition medals including two X Games golds and an Olympic silver in Superpipe.
Incredibly, none of Bleiler’s competition wins, endorsement deals and general ultra-stardom status seem to have gone to her head. She remains down to earth and even slightly nostalgic when reflecting on her formative, pre-sponsorship years spent ripping around Snowmass with her AVSC teammates and coaches.
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