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Snowboarding - US Olympic Boarders

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Ross Powers in the Superpipe
Bakke/Shazzam/ESPN
Danny Kass at the 2002 Winter X Games

American snowboarders ripped up the half-pipe at the 2002 Winter Olympics - taking gold, silver and bronze. The last time the US had a medal sweep, snowboarding wasn't even a sport. Here's a look at the guys who made it happen.

Ross Powers - Gold
Ross had been a snowboarding legend - long before winning in Salt Lake City. He won a bronze medal in the half-pipe at the Olympics in Nagano and won four medals at the X Games. Ross started boarding when he was seven. His mom would take him to the mountain near their home in Vermont. While his mom would go skiing, Ross would spend the day riding in the half-pipe. In 2001, Ross formed the Ross Powers Foundation to help under-funded kids from Vermont become competitive riders.

Danny Kass - Silver
Despite being under five and a half feet tall, Danny is always going big in the half-pipe. He took the silver medal at the Olympics by pulling off a spectacular "Kasserole spin" - that's two upside down twists while grabbing the board. The trick was taught to Danny by his older brother, Matt, who invented it. When Danny's not riding through a half-pipe, he's drawing graphics on his snowboard or making music. He's the lead singer of a band he and his friends formed called Bent Metal. Danny rode his winning run at the Olympics while listening to AC/DC and Metallica. For more on Danny, click here.

JJ Thomas - Bronze
Before winning the bronze at the Salt Lake City Olympics, JJ took the gold in the SuperPipe at the 2002 X Games - finishing ahead of both Ross and Danny. JJ, who's given name is Jarret, was born in Alaska but learned to ride on the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. JJ was listening to Madonna's Material Girl when he went through the half-pipe on his bronze medal winning run.

Other Olympic Highlights

  • Kelly Clark wins the gold in the women's half-pipe.
  • The pairs figure skating event is tainted with scandal.
  • Germany and Belarus advance to the final round of men's hockey.

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