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One More Time for Kelly Clark

By Tom Kelly
January, 20 2018
Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark tops the podium to earn a berth in her fifth Olympic Winter Games. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

One more time! Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, Vt.), grande dame of the halfpipe, sealed her spot for a fifth Olympic Winter Games nomination with a win over Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) in the finale of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Saturday night in Mammoth Mountain. Maddie Mastro (Wrightwood, Calif.) finished third to clinch the final objective criteria spot for the PyeongChang team.

With the men’s three objective criteria spots already clinched, the evening was a showcase for those seeking a possible fourth discretional spot. Chase Josey (Hailey, Ida.) rose to the occasion, winning on his first run and taking a victory lap to close out the evening. Joey put down a 94.50 on his first run, with Ben Ferguson (Bend, Ore.) second with a 92.25 on his second run. Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) rounded out the podium in third with an 81.50.

Clark hit an 89.0 on her first run but no one was able to match. Kim, who had already clinched a team spot, was second at 87.00 with Mastro third.

The full Olympic team will be announced next week.

The win will send Clark to PyeongChang for her fifth Olympics. In four previous appearances, she's never finished lower than fourth and has collected three medals including her debut gold in 2002 at Salt Lake City. At the age of 34, she remains one of her sport's most relevant and progressive athletes. Twice the age of Kim, Clark has helped mentor the young rising star who she met while riding at Mammoth Mountain years ago.

With the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Olympic snowboarding selection complete, athletes will now head to the X Games in Aspen for a final tuneup before winging their way to South Korea for the Olympics, which open February 9.