Gretchen Bleiler

My story….. At age 18, I consciously stepped out of my trajectory path and into a new unconventional direction.  Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to be an Olympian.  At age 11, I fell in love with snowboarding.  At that time, snowboarding couldn’t have been further from being an Olympic sport!  In fact at that time it was considered just a fad and wasn’t even allowed on most mountain resorts.  My two passions merged into one, when the world was introduced to snowboarding as an Olympic event in 1998.  That’s when I took the leap of faith and deferred a year from college, in order to follow my dream to become a professional snowboarder and an Olympian.  At that time, I also vowed that I would do everything I could to be the best and to take advantage of every opportunity that came my way in order to make the most of the often “small window” of being a pro athlete. That competitive and determined mission statement took me a long way, and as my success in competition grew so did the opportunities that came my way off the mountain.  I’ve now been a professional snowboarder for the past 14 years.  I’m a two time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist and a four-time X Games gold medalist.  I’ve won an ESPN ESPY award in the category of “best action sports female,” was given National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year award in the category of spirit, and have been inducted into The Action Sports Hall of Fame as well as The Colorado Sportswomen Hall of Fame.  I’ve enjoyed fantastic sponsorships, photo shoots, commercials, have had my own signature product lines, I’ve done TV hosting, blogging, commentating, speaking engagements, I’ve been a contributing writer for different magazines, I’ve gotten to race cars, and jump out of airplanes, meet celebrity’s and President’s and Prince’s and I’ve even been able to connect a lot of these things into a higher cause in creating awareness and change around climate change by working with environmental groups, lobbying on Capitol Hill, doing school presentations and creating a lifestyle and sustainability business with my husband an mother-in-law. It seems though, that after you’ve lived a life of a lot of doing, you get to a point where you start to ask yourself if you’re doing the right things.  Snowboarding has been an adventurous and dynamic vehicle for my transformation and evolution and the unfolding of that path has continued to take me to new frontiers. My career accomplishments and titles have been a part of who I am, but more importantly have lead me to the knowing that they are also not who I am.  I’ve learned along the way that accomplishing and achieving in order to acquire abundance and success in our outer world can only take a person so far.  Through the practice and understanding of primordial sound meditation, I’ve found an integral balance in my everyday life that has created a new state of being that is lasting clarity, meaning, purpose, ease and connection to all that I am and all that I choose to do. I’m now a certified Chopra Center meditation instructor and am excited about intertwining these ancient teachings and traditions with my own personal stories and experiences in order to help spark transformation and evolution in others. 2x Olympian Olympic Silver Medalist 5x X Games medalist 4x X Games Gold Medalist 2x US Open Champion World Cup Champion World Superpipe Champion ESPY Award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete Environmentalist Entrepreneur First athlete, male or female, to have a Signature Collection of eyewear, outerwear, lifestyle apparel and accessories with Oakley Contributing Blogger First female action sports athlete to appear on the cover of ESPN the Magazine Female Snowboarder of the Year at Fuel’s inaugural Action Sports Awards 2x Colorado “Female Athlete of the Year” Award National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Spirit Award Winner Inducted into Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame Inducted into Action Sports Hall of Fame