Crash Course: After a stellar season in 2013, Arielle Gold is preparing to qualify for the halfpipe event in Sochi. She won the senior world championship in Quebec and followed up by taking the bronze at the Winter X games. Gold, 17, first came to prominence in 2012, when she won two silver medals in the halfpipe and slopestyle at the World Junior Olympic games in Austria. When Gold needed time away from offseason training in New Zealand, she looked for even more excitement by going skydiving.
Athletic Profile: Snowboarding fans will look to Gold to provide thrills when she competes. While she is working hard to improve her technical skills, she is noted for her gutsy approach that sees her taking more risks than most of her competitors in this dangerous sport.
Brotherly Love: Gold was on skis when she was three, but she wanted to be like her big brother, Taylor, so she took up snowboarding at age seven. Taylor Gold is also an accomplished snowboarder and is attempting to qualify for the men's team in Sochi.
Future Plans: While snowboarding fuels Gold's competitive instincts, she has more conventional long-term plans. She loves her horses, Sparky and Bugs, and she hopes to become a veterinarian.
So Much for Dieting: As an athlete in a competitive and dangerous sport, Gold knows she has to put away the junk foods and eat in a disciplined manner. Except at Thanksgiving, when she says she can eat anything she wants. While she loves the traditional Thanksgiving foods like sweet potatoes and stuffing, it's banana cream pie that sets her over the edge. She makes it herself and describes it as "food porn."
Quote: "Arielle definitely sprung onto the scene big time last year, she had so many podiums. It's just a cool crew we have here. We can all just get inspired by one another."—Veteran U.S. Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler on Gold and the U.S. Women's Snowboarding team.