Being born in 1981 in Toledo, Ohio, Gretchen laid the foundation for an outstanding career after her family moved to Aspen, Colorado, when she was ten years old.
At her high school, which was located only three miles away from Aspen Mountain ski area, part of the physical education curriculum allowed students out early on Wednesdays so they could ski at the nearby resorts.
After four years, the spokeswoman for www.stopglobalwarming.com switched to snowboarding learning how to ride the halfpipe with the local snowboard team.
After she had finished school, she decided not to go to college but to enter the race for a 2002 Olympic team spot. A race which she lost to her team mate Tricia Byrnes in a tie breaker.
This heavy setback didn't get her out of focus. The first ever female rider to perfect the crippler - an inverted backside 540 - cruised on jumping on the train to the 2006 Olympics which came out as one of her career's biggest moments.
Earning the Silver medal the FHM cover girl, who also developed her own glove, mitten as well as sun glasses, helmet and snowboard lines, consistently remaining on top of the list of the world's best snowboarders heading for the next big bang.
The first woman to earn four gold medals at the X-Games, who is also a highly decorated World Cup athlete, is definitely capable of raising the bar due to her riding variety of several inverted tricks as well as the ability to stick a frontside 900 right at the first hit or maintaining some nice amplitude throughout the whole run.
Having attained her big goal which she set aged two - being an Olympian - the married rider focuses on entering her third five-ring-event in 2014.