Women Break New Ground at Winter X

X Games 2005

Check out interviews with

Marie Martinod-Routin


Jen Hudak


Kristi Leskinen


Jamie Sundberg


Aspen, Colo. (ESPN) - For the first time in Winter X Games history, women's skiers finally had the chance to fly high above the SuperPipe.

In the inaugural event Tuesday afternoon at Winter X Games Nine it was the 18-year-old Grete Eliassen who impressed the judges the most out of the eight competitors in the 30-minute jam format.

Eliassen (Lillehammer, Norway) claimed the first-ever gold medal in the event with runs that included her patented 540.

"I am really happy because this is so unexpected," said Eliassen. "Just being here at the competition was really exciting. I love the amplitude on the pipe and that's what I was working on all day."

Two years ago Sarah Burke (Midland, ON, Canada) won the Skiing SuperPipe competition at the X Games Global Championship. While she was happy with the victory, she had her sights set on a higher goal.

"Global X Games was amazing and super awesome to be a part of the first one for females, but I'm still going for just plain old X Games," said Burke at the time. "I'd like to see that happen."

She realized that goal on Tuesday as she claimed the silver medal with a big 900 at the end of one of her runs.

"I've been doing this for five years now," Burke said. "I went from being the only girl riding to seeing all the girls come up with me is really amazing. My final run I threw the 900 and I was psyched about that. But I made a mistake in the beginning and that's what cost me (the gold)."

Kristi Leskinen (Uniontown, Penn.) won the bronze medal to round out the top three in the first-ever event.

"Me and Sarah Burke were the first two to do this," said Leskinen. "We've been pushing for four years to get the girls in and we finally did it. I am so psyched to be a part of the X Games."

Virginie Faivre, Marie Martinod-Routin, Michelle Parker, Jen Hudak and Jamie Sundberg rounded out the final five spots in the competition.

Final Results from Aspen/Snowmass on Tuesday, February 1, 2005

1. Grete Eliassen: Lillehammer, Norway

2. Sarah Burke: Midland, ON, Canada

3. Kristi Leskinen: Uniontown, Pa.

4. Virginie Faivre: Montreux Beach, Switzerland

5. Marie Martinod-Routin: Aix Les Bains, France

6. Michelle Parker: Squaw Valley, Calif.

7. Jen Hudak: Hamden, Conn.

8. Jamie Sundberg: Vail, Colo.