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10 X Games Aspen Bad Girls with Sights on Sochi

Torah Bright

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: Not sure what's more intimidating about 27-year-old Torah Bright: the fact that she has two gold and two silver X Games medals in the superpipe or that she's the reigning Olympic champion in the halfpipe. The latter makes this Aussie the woman to beat in Sochi, and not just on the pipe. She's also gunning to medal in slopestyle, which makes its debut this Winter Olympics. And why not add a new event to her already bright lineup? “It’s all just snowboarding,” she told Olympics.org. “If I can find the fun in anything I do, I get the most out of myself. And that’s what happening with doing these three different disciplines.”

Gnarliest trick: Switch backside 720, a super-complicated double rotation with a blind landing. It's considered one of the hardest and most daunting spins in the sport.

Update: On January 22, Torah dropped out of the X Games, saying she wanted to focus on Sochi.

Photo: ESPN Images

Kelly Clark

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: If X Games Aspen could name one athlete its queen, Kelly Clark would be it. As the defending superpipe champion for three years in a row and five-time medalist prior to earning her crown, the 30-year-old Vermont native is the most-decorated female in X Games history. If she keeps up this winning streak, she may just take the title of king too: Clark reached new heights when she celebrated her 60th career victory (more than any male or female snowboarder) in the 2013 season. She also owns an Olympic gold (2002 Salt Lake City) and bronze (2010 Vancouver), both in the halfpipe.

Gnarliest trick: Clark became the first woman to land a 1080 (three full rotations) in competition at X Games 2011.

Photo: ESPN Images

Maddie Bowman

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Sport: Skiing

Why she's a badass: The X Games Aspen 2013 champion in the superpipe for freestyle skiing isn't shy about saying she wants a repeat in 2014. “It's my favorite event and it's going to be the perfect place to perfect everything before Sochi,” Maddie Bowman told XGames.com. The 20-year-old, who also has a silver in the superpipe from the 2012 X Games, has already made the Olympic Team and might end up with a double gold—one from Aspen and one from Sochi—if she plays her cards right.

Gnarliest trick: Bowman landed a left nine (two and a half spins) in competition.

Photo: ESPN Images

Arielle Gold

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: New to the big leagues, 17-year-old Arielle Gold may be one of the youngest competitors in the field, but she's also one of halfpipe’s hottest rising stars. Her big break came when she stepped in for her injured teammate, four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler, at the 2013 X Games Aspen. Gold surprised everyone by taking bronze in the superpipe, which landed her a spot on the podium with athletes five to 13 years her senior. The 2014 Sochi Winter Games will be her Olympic debut.

Gnarliest tricks: She medaled at last year's X Games Aspen with this impressive run: frontside 900, backside 540 to frontside 540, and frontside 720 to a cab 900.

Photo: ESPN Images

Elena Hight

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: Four-time X Games Aspen medalist Elena Hight doesn't have a gold under her belt just yet, but if she continues her podium pattern of two bronze (2007, 2011) followed by two silver (2012, 2013), all in the superpipe, then she's due for two gold next. Perhaps one at X Games Aspen and the other at Sochi? Although the 24-year-old Idaho native, who finished in the top 10 in the halfpipe at the last two Winter Olympics, is an alternate, she has a good shot. Hight is known for her record-breaking moves, including becoming the first female to land a 900—at age 13.

Gnarliest tricks: She made history again when she became the first athlete ever (man or woman) to land a double backside alley-oop rodeo at X Games in 2013.

Photo: ESPN Images

Jamie Anderson

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: Jamie Anderson wins almost every contest she enters. She's like the female Shaun White,” says Melissa Larsen, general editor in snowboarding at XGames.com. The 23-year-old slopestyle rider is a seven-time X Games medalist, and her bling includes four golds, acquired in 2013, 2012, 2008, and 2007. With slopestyle making its debut in Sochi, the Tahoe native may finally find the global stage she needs to show off her wide-ranging skills and become a household name like the untouchable White.

Gnarliest tricks: A cab 720 (a switch-frontside spin) nose grab (front hand grips the board's nose) followed by a seamless transition into a switch backside 540 (backward spin)

Photo: ESPN Images

Roz Groenwoud

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Sport: Skiing

Why she's a badass: Twenty-four-year-old freestyle skier Roz Groenwoud may own four X Games Aspen medals, but there's no doubt her favorite is the gold. The Canadian secured the superpipe win in 2012 after catching the biggest air (14-feet, 5-inches) of the competition during her final run. The smooth move helped her earn the highest score (93.66) in women's ski superpipe history. It's no wonder she's a favorite to medal in Sochi at the discipline's Olympic debut.

Gnarliest tricks: Right-side 900 mute, which consists of rotating and crossing the skis (See her perform the complicated move at Whistler Blackcomb last April.)

Photo: ESPN Images

Lindsey Jacobellis

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: Seven X Games golds in snowboard cross confirms that 28-year-old Lindsey Jacobellis is at the top of her game. If she hadn't missed out in 2006 (she was off prepping to win silver at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics) and placed second in 2007, she might have held a sick winning streak from 2003 to 2011. After taking a two-year hiatus to a recover from a knee injury she picked up during a training run for the 2012 X Games Aspen, she's finally back in full force, ready to claim her eighth gold—and maybe another Olympic medal too.

Signature style: Jacobellis separates herself from the rest of her competitors by utilizing her strengths on the technical features of the course.

Photo: ESPN Images

Maelle Ricker

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Sport: Snowboarding

Why she's a badass: While Lindsey Jacobellis was MIA during the 2006 X Games Aspen, her longtime rival, Maelle Ricker, took back the gold she first won in 1999, ending Jacobellis’ dominance. The following year Ricker joined Jacobellis on the X Games Aspen podium with a bronze medal. Then in 2010 at her third Olympic Games in Vancouver, Ricker made her homeland beam with pride when she became the first Canadian to win a gold medal on home turf. Sochi will be the 35-year-old veteran's fourth Olympic Games but not necessarily her last.

Signature style: Ricker consistently has the strongest start out of the gates getting up to racing speed.

Photo: ESPN Images

Kaya Turski

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Sport: Skiing

Why she's a badass: Kaya Turski is a serious contender any time she's in the gate,” says Mike Douglas, a ski analyst for ESPN and former pro skier. The 25-year-old Canadian freestyle skier is a three-time X Games champion who sets herself apart from the competition with her seamless transitions and easy-looking switch 900s (backward spins). This year, however, Turski might find herself holding back. “Knowing her, I suspect she will probably take it a little easier than she normally does simply because she's coming back fresh from an ACL reconstruction surgery over the summer and she won't want to jeopardize her trip to Sochi,” Douglas says. “The last thing she'll want to do is push herself too hard and end up like Lindsey Vonn.” Turski is the favorite to win the inaugural Olympic ski slopestyle competition.

Gnarliest tricks: First female to land a 1080 and switch 1080 in X Games Aspen (2012) history.

Photo: ESPN Images