Angels in the Halfpipe

I spent this past weekend with 15 of the best female snowboarders in the world at the second-annual Snow Angels Invitational, a women’s-only halfpipe contest created and hosted by 2002 Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler. The event was designed as a season-ending opportunity for the women to compete in a chill environment (the contest agenda is peppered with spa treatments and massages) with top billing (read: the guys aren’t there) and in a progression-promoting format (a 70-minute jam) in Bleiler’s hometown of Aspen/Snowmass, Colo.

The contest is bookended by workshops on global warming, including a talk by a representative from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Climate change is a cause close to the hearts—and the paychecks—of Bleiler and her peers. The event is a sort of sports summit where the most influential female athletes in snowboarding can discuss issues important to each of them, as well as what they’d like to see improved upon within their sport.

For this week’s Action Sports Report, my blog, I asked each of the women, “If you could run ESPN The Magazine for one issue, what would you write about?” Click here to read what they had to say.


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