Undeniably, the Burton U.S. Open of Snowboarding is the most prestigious event in the sport snowboarding, attracting the top pros from around the world, media attention, and this time, due to a new location from Stratton Mountain, VT, to the mega-resort of Vail, CO, more fans than ever before in the event’s 31 year-long history.
The event always concludes with the halfpipe competitions, which are also among the most media friendly in the sport of snowboarding and tend to capture the greatest attention. In addition, Shaun White, one of youth culture’s most favorite athletes (see also our Spring Youth Culture Study 2013 and special Report on Action Sports, athletes, and viewing patterns), and Kelly Clark, who has officially become the most “winning” snowboarder in history with a total of 61 golds in halfpipe competitions.
Both Clark and White won yet again, representing White’s 5th gold and Clark’s 6th gold at the Burton U.S. Open, solidifying their standings as the top riders in the world.
White’s final run included a backside air, frontside 1080 double cork stalefish grab, Cab 1080 double cork melon grab, frontside 540 stalefish grab, backside 1260 double McTwist mute grab, to a frontside 1260 double cork stalefish grab.
“It was incredible to get my 5th US Open halfpipe title in Vail, and hands down, this is the best pipe of the year,” said White. “I’m pretty happy to end my season with a win at the US Open.”
Clark’s final run included a frontside 1080 Indy, grab, Cab 720 mute grab, lien air, backside 540 mute grab to a frontside 720 stalefish grab.
“Being the winningest US Open champ is such an honor, it’s a big win for me today, especially since I grew up going to this event and it inspired me to be a snowboarder,” said Clark.
The future’s looking bright for snowboarding with 14-year-old Ayumu Hirano from Japan coming in second for the men’s and the youngest ever to win a silver at the event. Louie Vito captured the bronze. For the women, Hannah Teter claimed the silver and Arielle Gold, the bronze.
In a final note about the sport of snowboarding and the Burton U.S. Open is that the prize money was equal, as always, among the male and female winners. Unlike the sports of surfing and especially skateboarding where there are hardly any events for women competitors, in snowboarding, the equity is engrained in the sport from its beginning (due in large part to Burton making sure this happens.) Each gold medal winner won $45,000, Silver winners won $20,000, and Bronze winners won $10,000.
Five hours of live programming started on NBC Sports and Universal Sports as of March 2, with another 22 hours of coverage at Burton.com/USO.
Sponsors included Burton, Mini, Vail, TTR, GoPro, G-Shock, Paul Mitchell, 3M Thinsulate Insulation, Nokia, Mountain Dew, Clif, Matador, Analog, anon, Transworld Snowboarder, and Snowboarder magazines.