Gretchen Bleiler on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
Introduced as the ‘face of women’s snowboarding’ with an Olympic silver medal and three gold medals in the Winter X-Games halfpipe, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler took the stage on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. The talk show circuit is part of the hectic schedule Gretchen maintains as she prepares to compete in her second Winter Olympics this January in Vancouver 2010.
The articulate athlete wearing a fun and sexy black dress spoke of her trick ‘The Crippler’ to the Los Angeles audience, explaining how she spins one and half rotations while doing a back flip, which Gretchen said has inflicted numerous injuries and black eyes.
Several clips of Gretchen snowboarding were shown throughout the show, including her frightening fall on the half pipe at the last Winter X-Games. “It actually looks way worse than it really was,” she said. “So many riders, they fall way worse than that every day, but it was live on ESPN, it was this big dramatic thing. Where ever I went it was brought up all season last year. I couldn’t really get away from it, but it was a good thing because it made me reevaluate things going into this season.”
While politely dodging guest Norm McDonald’s awkward comments, (including calling her ‘Kelly’ on national TV) Gretchen kept her sweet demeanor, charming the studio, even when the obnoxious comedian did his impression of his perception of women athletes that resembled a caveman.
“Why is it that in some sports like beach volleyball or snowboarding the women are breathtaking? You would think they would be big monsters of ladies.” Said Norm.
“Why would you think that?” Interjected Gretchen, “We can’t be women… (Cut off by monster noises) that’s what I’m trying to do here.” Viewers could only decide for themselves what the Olympic gold medalist was trying to communicate about the public’s perception of women in sports.
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