SNOWMASS VILLAGE --Gretchen Bleiler, a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist, decided last week to drop out of the snowboard superpipe competition.
The Snowmass Village resident first announced her decision on Twitter midday Jan. 24 and spoke that night on ESPN about her decision. The Winter X Games were on Buttermilk Mountain from Jan. 24 to 27.
Bleiler was due to compete despite shattering her eye socket during a trampoline session in June in Park City, Utah. It was a long journey back to being able to compete as she struggled with double vision and vertigo resulting from surgery.
"My vision is better, but I just need a little bit more time on snow," Bleiler told X Games host Ramona Bruland.
Bleiler, 31, placed fourth in the superpipe last year and hasn't medaled since claiming gold in 2010. She said on Twitter that she is, "Keeping a big picture perspective on Sochi."
If Bleiler qualifies for the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia, they would be the third of her career. She claimed silver in Turin, Italy, in 2006 and finished 11th in Vancouver, B.C., after falling on both runs in 2010.
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