Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Recently named to the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team, Gold came seemingly out of nowhere last year to win bronze in the pipe at X Games. She wasn’t expected to compete at all — coming to her first X Games as as an alternate — and was added to the start list late. She started snowboarding at age 7, with her older brother, Taylor, who is also competing this weekend and at the Olympics. She discussed her big year over e-mail with Time Out editor Andrew Travers.
Time Out: Should we expect a big Steamboat fan contingent cheering you on?
Arielle Gold: Ya, I hope so. Last year there was a lot of Steamboat people there cheering Taylor and I on. Hopefully it will be the same this year, it’s always great to have family and friends from Steamboat there cheering us on.
TO: What’s your relationship like with Taylor?
AG: It’s really good right now. We’ve both grown up a little bit, but we’re a typical brother and sister — growing up bickering and fighting, but we love each other.
TO: Do you guys train together and talk shop much?
AG: Yes, he’s a big reason for a lot of my success. We ride together and he tells me what I’m doing, what I’m not doing and what I should be doing. He gives me little pointers and that helps me a lot.
TO: Is there much of a sibling rivalry between you?
AG: No not really. We both want each other to do really well. Last year when I had a lot of success I know it was hard on Taylor and this year he’s had a ton of success and I’m happy for him. We just like to see each other succeed and cheer each other on. Not much of a rivalry.
TO: Do you get to spend much time in Colorado these days?
AG: Yes, as much as we can. During the season this year it’s been great because so many of the qualifiers have been in Colorado. We spend as much time as we can in the summer. I like to be up in Steamboat hanging out with my horses.
TO: What was your reaction last year when you found out you were going to compete in the pipe at X Games?
AG: I was really excited when people started telling me I was in. I was excited to be that alternate rider to get in. It’s always been a dream to compete at X Games.
TO: Do you think coming in as an alternate was an advantage in some way?
AG: Ya, I guess so. It’s less pressure. I was there really to enjoy the contest.
TO: How did competing at the X Games in Aspen compare with other comps?
AG: Way more fun! It’s just such a big deal, a whole other level. The crowd. Riding at night into the lights. X Games is just such a big deal.
TO: What new tricks have you been working on?
AG: I’ve really only been working on improving what I already have — making them bigger and higher and making them look better. But I would like to learn a 1080 before the Olympics.
TO: Do you think people underestimate you because of your age?
AG: I don’t think so. I think everybody knows how good everyone else is and age isn’t really as big of a factor as it was a couple year ago so I don’t think anyone underestimates anyone at this point.
TO: How do you think the competition will be effected by the Olympics?
AG: Not a whole lot. I think riders are going to go just as hard as they would before or even harder. There’s less pressure, especially for the people that have made it and more for those that didn’t, so I think everyone is going to ride really hard and have fun.
TO: What’s your relationship with Kelly Clark like?
AG: Kelly has been a great mentor to me. She was the first one to come up to me and she’s been so helpful over the years. She introduced me to the Burton teammates and we get to travel together a lot. She really helps me every day to get into the groove.