7/5/2007

USA Womens Team Takes Over the World at X Games 13 Surfing

American Surfers Celebrate Independence Day at the Mexican Pipeline with the First Gold Medal for the First X Games 13 Women’s Surfing Event

Puerto Escondido, Mexico - In a compelling face-off between the USA and the World, the top women surfers from around the globe joined forces to conquer the epic and hollow waves of Zicatela Beach. With waves breaking from a solid 6 to 8 feet, the women of X conquered the Mexican Pipeline, despite changing conditions dealt by Mother Nature throughout the morning. From start to finish, the unpredictable and nail-biting duel displayed athleticism, team spirit, emotion and heart as both teams pushed the level of progressive surfing. In the end, the USA Women dominated the World Team with a close score of 55.0 to 52.0, a score that resulted with the first gold medal in the first women’s competition in X Games history.

In the first period, both teams were in sync with the ocean as the competitors dropped into the waves, barrel after barrel. USA rider Rochelle Ballard kicked off the competition with a stylistic ride in a deep barrel as she gestured to the beach while the crowd went wild. Melanie Bartels pulled into a frontside right tube, disappeared from sight and successfully shot out the other end, only to finish out her ride with grace. Bartels’ score of 8.5 was the highest score of the competition. The World Team also opened up strong as teammates Chelsea Hedges and Lee Ann Curren split an A-frame wave going in both directions as both succeeded with barrels out of both ends. By the end of the first period, the USA led by only five points over the World Team with 25.5 to 20.0 posted on the scoreboard.

In the second period, the conditions of the ocean threw a curve ball, as the glassy and clean barrels in the previous quarter transformed into rip tides, closed-out waves with wind and texture on the water. However, the USA overcame their challenge and ended their last period strong with another solid performance by Bartels as she surfed the wave of victory, once again attacking a seemingly impossible barrel and shooting out of the other direction. Her score of a 6.0 was enough to seize the win over the World team. Cheers from the dugout were heard up and down the coast at Zicatela Beach as the USA Women’s team clenched the win over the World Women’s Team, falling just three points short behind the USA.

“What a complete rush. I haven’t felt this feeling since I won a contest back in 2001,” said USA Women’s Head Coach Lisa Anderson. “The excitement in The Game™ format is great for the sport and great for the rivalries, and the overall vibe was incredible. I’m so proud of our team.”

MVP Surfer Bartels added, “The best women surfers in the world are here and they’re all my friends. They charge, we all have different specialties and we played for the team. If it wasn’t for my teammates and the coaching staff cheering me on or directing me, I probably wouldn’t have found those two insane barrels. I’m so stoked to be a part of this experience.”

Replay capabilities, event highlights on-demand post-event, coverage of the Men and Women Surfing competitions are available on www.expn.com. The Surfing Men’s Final will broadcast on ABC Sat., Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. ET and the Surfing Women’s Final will be televised at 9:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will provide 14 hours of live programming August 2-5 as well as X Games 13 coverage on ESPN International, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com, SportsCenter and ESPN2’s X Center. X Games 13 will be televised on ESPN International to more than 120 countries and territories in Canada, the Pacific Rim, Middle East, Africa, Orbit and Israel.

ABOUT ESPN’s X GAMES FRANCHISE
ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Action Sports, first developed its X Games franchise in 1995. Part of ESPN Original Entertainment, X Games, Winter X Games and All Access are just some of the original action sports programming currently shown on ESPN and ESPN2. In addition to the

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