Hookom closes snowboard career | VailDaily.com

Hookom closes snowboard career

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado
AP photoEdwards' Stacia Hookom races down the slope during the women's parallel slalom at the FIS Snowboard World Championship in Arosa, Switzerland, Wednesday. Hookom finished eighth in the last race of her career.

AROSA, Switzerland – For the second consecutive day, Edwards’ Stacia Hookom led U.S. Snowboarding riders, finishing eighth in parallel slalom to close the alpine portion of the 2007 FIS Snowboard World Championships. For Hookom, it was the final race of a successful career that spanned 12 seasons and seven World Championships with U.S. Snowboarding.

“It’s really tough and I’m going to miss it,” said Hookom, holding back tears. “My motto for the Worlds was ‘What would Elway do?’ John Elway closed out his career with the Denver Broncos on top and today I was wearing bib No. 7 – his number. Maybe I didn’t win, but I feel like I went out on top.”As the first female to be named to the U.S. Snowboarding program following the 1994 U.S. championships, Hookom has racked up 197 World Cup starts over four disciplines (giant slalom, parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom and halfpipe), was a member of seven World Championships teams, captured six national championships and now ends a storied career with her best World Championships performance finishing fifth in parallel giants slalom and eighth in PSL.

“One of my biggest dreams was to win a World Championships medal,” she said. “It’s something I’ve always held an extreme amorous for and it didn’t happen, so that’s hard. But I’m not disappointed in the way I raced – I’d rather have real races than have someone crash for me to move on and all of my races this entire week were tough battles. If only every weekend could be like the Worlds.”In the first round of finals, Hookom, who qualified 15th outsped Olympic and Worlds PGS silver medalist Amelie Kober of Germany before coming up short against Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands by just over four-tenths of a second in the round of eight.

“She was really ripping. I have a lot of respect for Stacey, she and I were originally named to the first U.S. Snowboarding Team together after the ’94 nationals,” said head coach Steve Persons, who was a competitive rider before moving into coaching. “She’s proved a lot this week and left quite an impression on our younger riders. Her determination is something that everyone can look on with admiration. She should be proud of what she’s accomplished.”

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