The future’s so ‘Bright’ at Chicken Jam |

The future’s so ‘Bright’ at Chicken Jam

by Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

It was a day all about the power of women.

Saturday at the 2007 Roxy Chicken Jam at Park City Mountain Resort, female snowboarders had many reasons to smile about their sport and look forward to a bright future.

American Tara Dikedes, 31, a veteran of the sport who continues to set the pace in women’s snowboarding, even after being set back by injuries for a while, returned to competition in a decisive way winning first place in the Slopestyle competition. On her best and winning run, Dikedes turned in a backflip over the showtime booter, a backside rodeo to a clean backside 720 and a boardslide to fakie on the flat down rail.

"It feels like the first time," Dikedes said. "I knew it when it was all over, but I suspected it after the backside rodeo."

As the senior member in the group, Dikedes said she appreciates the respect of her younger peers, but says she is still bringing fresh material to her sport.

"I respect so many of the girls," Dikedes said. "I’m happy to still be out here."

Also sharing the spotlight was Aussie-born Torah Bright, who wrapped up the first-ever Ticket To Ride (TTR) tour title after taking second in the superpipe event and third in Slopestyle.

"This has been my best season yet," Bright said. "I’m so stoked with how its going."

Bright says that her consistency was the biggest factor in claiming the title. The crowning was based on her best six results from events on the global TTR tour. Bright adds the award to her win at the World Superpipe and an X Games gold medal.

"It feels good," Bright said. "There’s been so much anticipation and the day has come."

Bright, who just returned to slopestyle after taking a break from it for the Olympics, landed her first-ever switch frontside 720 in competition.

In between Dikedes and Bright, was American Jamie Anderson who took second as well as winning a $1,200 prize from Zumiez for a frontside-boardside 270 on the couch rail. Canadian Leanne Pelosi won $800 for a 270 backside-boardslide with a 180 out on the downside rail.

In the superpipe event on Friday, Swiss-born Manuela Pesko won with back-to-back 720s in her first appearance at the resort. The event warded a combined $30,000 prize purse.

This year the Roxy Chicken Jam, now in its third year at PCMR added a superpipe component and was a six-star event, meaning it awarded a maximum amount of points to the women who competed in it.

"The Roxy Chicken Jam is my favorite event because it’s an all-girl event," Bright said. "We’ve got every side of snowboarding here."

Bright also applauded Roxy, an outdoor sports lifestyle company, for committing to the advancement of women’s snowboarding.

"The progress we see with women’s snowboarding definitely happens at these events," Bright said.

Randy Hild, senior vice president of Roxy, says that the power behind the all-female event is exciting to watch.

"The girls are center stage," he said.

He also added that Roxy has watched the event grow over the years and would eventually like to add a ski component added.

Wendy Woo, TTR World Snowboard Tour public relations manager, said that the most important component needed for the growth of the Jam and women’s snowboarding in general, is sponsorship. She hopes that Bright’s enthusiasm will help her as an ambassador to attract more attention to the female side of the sport.

Currently, the TTR title, which went to Olympic gold medallist Shaun White on the men’s side, carries no prize money, and Woo also hopes for sponsorship to boost the title’s importance.

For complete event retails and results, visit http://www.roxy.xom/events/chickenjam/2007.

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