Snowboarders set aside fears, push limits in competition

Published 0937 GMT (1737 HKT) December 30, 2016
Taylor Gold snowboard halfpipe Taylor Gold snowboard halfpipe
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Snowboarder Taylor Gold has been competing since he was nine. Gold was one of four Americans challenging in the halfpipe at the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
"Most of the time when you're going as big as you can and doing the hardest tricks you can, you're pretty scared," admits Taylor Gold -- seen mid-flip in the Snowboard men's halfpipe semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Taylor's sister Arielle Gold pictured after her crash -- which led to a separated shoulder -- in a warmup at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Ranked fourth in the world in the women's halfpipe, she missed out on participating in her first Olympics. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Double Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White of the US is the sport's most famous participant. Formerly known as the "Flying Tomato," White has taken on a business-like approach to the sport as owner of the Air + Style games. Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Kelly Clark -- the most decorated snowboarder in the history of the women's halfpipe competition -- says snowboarding is "a calculated risk." "What would be scary or very risky for other people, isn't necessarily in our shoes," she says. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Thirty-three-year-old Clark is the first female to nail a 1080 frontside twist in competition."There are not a lot of sports that mirror what our heart rates do," she says. Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Sixteen-year-old Chloe Kim is the top ranking world female halfpipe snowboarder and won the X Games gold at Oslo. Snowboarders are increasingly completing high school coursework online to compete full-time. IOC/Getty Images Europe
Halfpipe gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov -- AKA "The iPod" -- celebrates at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Podladtchikov nailed the first cab double cork 1440 in competition -- a move he dubbed the "YOLO Flip." Al Bello/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Chloe Kim (left) celebrates a first place finish with Kelly Clark -- the most decorated halfpipe snowboarder in history -- at the 2016 US Snowboarding Park City Grand Prix on February 6, 2016 in Park City, Utah. Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Mark McMorris of Canada (seen crashing at the Air + Style Beijing 2015 Snowboard World Cup) recently suffered a broken femur while attempting a frontside 1440 triple cork at the Air + Style event in Los Angeles. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Former Winter X Games Silver medalist Kevin Pearce suffered brain damage after a traumatic head injury in a practice run, which was chronicled in the documentary "The Crash Reel." Adam Moran
Gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington (center) celebrates with Bronze winner Kelly Clark (left) and silver medalist, Australia's Torah Bright at the snowboard halfpipe final at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Shortly after, Farrington was diagnosed with a spinal condition which forced her out of the sport. JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
X Games snowmobiler Caleb Moore, seen here in 2008, was struck by his 450-pound snowmobile during a mishap at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado in 2013. Caleb died shortly after of complications, leading a debate as to the safety of some extreme sports. INALDO PEREZ/AFP/Getty Images