Produced in Toledo, Ohio, on April 10, 1981, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler spent the majority of her formative years dwelling in Colorado. She turned professional in 1996 and from the early 2000s was among the best female snowboarders on the planet. A three-time Winter X Games champ, Bleiler got the silver medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
Following the divorce of her parents when she was 10, she moved along with her mom to Aspen, Colorado. Bleiler says the move out West altered her life. Specifically, it immersed her in a winter sports culture that had not existed for her in Ohio. “I always looked up to them,” she’s said. “That is the reason I started snowboarding. I wished to be like them.”
However, it was impossible to deny that Bleiler proved to be a natural on the inclines. In 1996, only five years after taking up snowboarding, she turned professional. From the early 2000s, she was among the best female riders on the planet.
The following years just brought more success and much more titles. The most important of those arrived in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, where Bleiler won the silver medal, finishing second behind buddy and fellow American Hannah Teter.
Overall, Bleiler is a expert of 11 Winter X Games and is a three-time X Games champ. Recently, Bleiler has enlarged her interests beyond the gradients and into vogue. She modeled for the cover of a 2004 issue of FHM and helped design a set of shades for Oakley. In 2009, Bleiler wed fellow snowboarder Chris Hotell. They divide their time between California and Colorado.