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Gretchen Bleiler (born on April 10, 1981 in Toledo, Ohio ) is a professional halfpipe snowboarder. She currently resides in Aspen, Colorado and is married to Chris Hotell.
Bleiler aspired to compete in the Winter X Games from a very young age, and found her passion in snowboarding at age 11 (1992). She has been riding ever since and became professional in 1996. Among her accomplishments, she jump-started the invert revolution for female riders as the first to land a Crippler 540 in competition, and won more halfpipe competitions in 2003, 2005 and 2006 than any other female snowboarder. In the pre-Olympic season she won four of the five US Olympic halfpipe qualifiers and is also a four-time X Games gold medalist, most recently winning the superpipe at Winter X Games XIV.
In 2003, she was a U.S. snowboard Grand Prix champion, a U.S. Open of snowboarding champion, and a Triple Crown of Snowboarding champion..
She posed for the February 2004 issue of FHM, along with fellow snowboarder Tara Dakides and sportscaster Jamie Little.
Bleiler, who missed qualifying for the 2002 Winter Olympics due to a tiebreaker, won a silver medal in the women's halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Starting in 2007, Bleiler expanded her career into snowboard and outerwear design, through Oakley and K2 Snowboarding, designing her own signature outerwear line for Oakley, and participating in the K2 Alliance, which develops and tests women's products, as well as working on the graphics for several K2 Boards. In 2008, she helped to create a new all-female invitational superpipe competition at Snowmass called the Snow Angels Invitational.
While competing in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, many considered Bleiler a gold medal favorite. However, she fell on both of her final runs, and took 11th place.
When she is not competing, Bleiler enjoys surfing, mountain biking, interior design and fashion. She is also active in several environmental organizations, including the Aspen Snomass Save Snow campaign, and stopglobalwarming.org.
- 2010 X Games Superpipe Gold Medalist
- 2008 Winter Dew Tour Superpipe Champion (Breckenridge, Co)
- 2008 X Games Halfpipe Gold Medalist
- 2006 FIS World Cup 1st Place, Saas Fe, Switzerland
- 2006 Olympic silver medalist
- 2006 Overall Grand Prix Champion; won four of the five Grand Prix events determining Olympic team
- 2005 X Games and Gravity Games Gold Medalist
- 2005 US Open Halfpipe Champion
- FIS World Cup 1st Place, Bardonecchia, Italy
- Eight straight wins in 2003
- 2003 X Games Halfpipe Gold Medalist
- 2003 US Open Champion
- Won 2003 Overall Grand Prix Title
- One of only four females invited to coveted 2003 Arctic Challenge
- 2002 and 2003 Vans Triple Crown Overall Title Winner
- Won 2003 World SuperPipe Championships
- Voted 2006 Female Snowboarder of the Year at FUEL TV’s inaugural Action Sports Awards
- Nominated for 2006 ESPY Award
- Won 2004 Colorado Female Athlete of the Year Award
- Earned Transworld Snowboarding’s Reader’s Choice Award in 2004
- Nominated for 2004 Laureus “Female Action Sports Athlete” Award
- Named Snowboarder and Transworld Snowboarding 2003 “Female Rider of the Year”
- Nominated for 2009 Teen Choice Awards "Other Action Sports Athlete - Female"
- Bleiler prominently featured in all advertising and promotion for Oakley and K2; she featured in Olympic commercials promoting 2006 NBC's Olympic Games and had a cameo appearance on NBC’s hit show Las Vegas. She starred in an ESPN commercial promoting 2004 Winter X Games, featured in multiple 24-hour Fitness national print and TV advertisement campaigns.
- She profiled in sports and lifestyle publications including ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Golf for Women, People, Men’s Fitness, Jane Magazine, Transworld Snowboarding, Snowboarder, Snowboard, Frequency, Future, The Drift, Salt Magazine, Her Sports, Discovery Girls, Lucky, Shape, Women’s Health, Self and V Magazine.
- She featured in leading newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post and the Aspen Times.
- She appeared on national TV programs including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Cold Pizza, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, ESPN Hotlist & Dinner: Impossible. She most recently appeared on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.
- She profiled on ABC Sports, CNN, MTV2, Fox News, ESPN, NBC Sports and FUEL TV.
- She served as guest host to FUEL TV’s 54321 and also hosted numerous times for X Games coverage on EXPN.
- She penned her own column in Transworld Snowboarding in 2004 and has made editorial contributions in The Denver Post.
- She appeared on the cover of the January 28, 2008 edition of ESPN: The Magazine.
- Gretchen hosted Yahoo sports' coverage of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.
- Featured in the Warren Miller film Playground.
- She was mentioned in Warren Miller’s Storm (2002) at about 14:05.
- 2005 World Congress of Sports panel
- 2006 Adweek “What teens want” Conference Special Guest
- Invited as honorary speaker for 2005 Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Snowboard Club Annual Banquet, Aspen High School Honors Graduation Banquet
- Speaks to local middle and high school students about importance of mountain safety
- Teacher and mentor at her Signature Session of High Cascade Snowboard Camp, summers ’06, '07, '08, and 2010
- Contributor and editor of “The Innocents” graphic novel project to launch Q1 ’07
- Covered in Neil Beidleman's book about local Aspen personalities
- One of featured Aspen locals in new documentary about Aspen, CO produced by AspenSkiCo
- Impassioned spokesperson and activist in the fight against global warming; working with stopglobalwarming.org and other environmental groups
- Honored guest and athlete representative for the Women’s Sports Foundation
- Threw first pitch at Colorado Rockies home-opener, 2006
- NASCAR honorary starter, ‘06