U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team Ben Ferguson Brings Home Gold At Innsbruck

2012-01-15 15:44


INNSBRUCK, Austria (Jan. 15) – The 2012 Winter Youth Olympics Games saw three medals for the USA including two for snowboarding. Ben Ferguson (Bend, OR) of the U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team, took the gold in halfpipe snowboarding with a huge Double Crippler during his run. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Arielle Gold (Steamboat Springs, CO) received the silver medal for her impressive run which included a Cab 720. The Youth Olympic Games is an exciting new event for young athletes to take their talent to the world's stage.


  • In its inaugural season the Winter Youth Olympics Games consisted of halfpipe skiing and snowboarding. Showcasing young athlete's, ages 14 to 19, talents from across the globe. 
  • Beautiful clear and cold day at Innsbruck. 
  • Ferguson's winning run consisted of a Crippler, Backside 900, Frontside 900, Huge backside air, and a Double Crippler.
  • Gold's silver medal run was a Large Backside air, Frontside 540 stale grab, Backside air tail grab, Frontside 720, Cab 720, Frontside 360, and a Cab 540 
  • The Austrian Army volunteered its help for the event and assisted in slipping the halfpipe, setting up the podium and breakdown of the event
  • Two-time Olympic freestyle moguls medalist Shannon Bahrke (Squaw Valley, CA) '02 freestyle Olympic silver medalists was on site to present the awards to the halfpipe podium. 
  • Next week continues for the snowboarders with slopestyle taking place on Thursday, January 19, 2012.


Ben Ferguson, Gold medalist

When I found out I won the gold medal, it was awesome – I was stoked and really excited. The difference for me in winning today was my amplitude especially with the front double cork 9. It was the first time I've thrown it in competition. I did the same run both times but it was just more solid on my second run - I landed everything cleaner. I've ridden against a few of the athletes here before and I've competed internationally. But there was way more adversity here. It's been a really cool experience here especially meeting athletes from different countries and different sports. We were the first event so now we're looking forward to watching other sports this week - going to curling and hockey for sure.

Arielle Gold, Silver medalist

I was planning a more mellow first run but when I saw some of the other athletes going big I decided to step it up. I threw a frontside 900, which is the best trick I have. I didn't land it as well as I wanted. But I think my best trick on the run was my first hit - a straight air method. It's been such a great experience here and I have met a lot of cool people. I'm also entered in the slopestyle so we're going to check that out next.

Spencer Tamblyn, U.S. Snowboarding/U.S. Freeskiing Coach

It was an incredible day with all three medalists doing tricks and performing at a level they have never reached before. They all killed it and waved the flag high. We are proud of them. Ben Ferguson went gigantic every hit and did his Double Crippler for the first time in Competition. Arielle Gold performed 720 to cab 720, which she just perfected last week, along with landing her second frontside 900 ever in her second run.

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