• Will Green Mountains win halfpipe gold?
    By
     | February 12,2014
     
    AP Photo

    Kelly Clark, of West Dover, practices Saturday for the women’s snowboard halfpipe competition at the Winter Olympics in Russia.

    Like many Olympic viewers, Vermonter Tim Clark can’t decide whether to watch today’s halfpipe women’s finals live and raw on the Web at lunch or avoid all spoilers and wait until television slices, steams and serves it up as a primetime feast.

    Then again, his sister could, as she tends to, spill everything within minutes.

    “She ends up calling me,” says Clark, who usually forgives her — especially when she’s phoning to report she just won.

    Four-time Olympian Kelly Clark, of West Dover, may be dialing her family again this afternoon upon competing alongside fellow Vermonter Hannah Teter, of Belmont, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

    The 14 Green Mountain athletes representing the United States in Russia so far have won two medals — a bronze for Norwich moguls skier Hannah Kearney this past weekend and a silver for West Dover slopestyle skier Devin Logan on Tuesday.

    But gold? That could come today for Clark, who first won one in 2002, or Teter, who followed up with her own in 2006.

    Teter sparked headlines this week when she called the problem-plagued Sochi halfpipe a “junk show” and advocated her fellow athletes band together to force a postponement until organizers fixed it.

    Even so, her father Jeffery, road foreman for the town of Mount Holly, and mother Patricia, a nurse at Springfield Hospital, are set to stand on the sidelines and wave a red, white and blue banner signed by all 98 students from their daughter’s hometown elementary school.

    Clark’s family will be cheering back in the states. Parents Terry and Cathy attended the 2002 Salt Lake City games, only to find themselves fenced behind a wall of security. As a result, they stayed home when their daughter competed at the 2006 Torino Olympics, then rejoined her at the 2010 Vancouver competition before deciding to remain here this year.

    Their son Tim, 36, will be manning the family business, TC’s Restaurant in West Dover. He may log onto the Internet and watch the qualifiers live at 5 a.m., the semifinals at 10 a.m. and the finals at 12:30 p.m. Or he may wait until a crowd of several hundred people arrives to watch tonight’s coverage on six large-screen televisions.

    When Kelly Clark struck gold in 2002, NBC’s Bob Costas told viewers how TC’s patrons were celebrating the victory and suggested a round of drinks on the house. He didn’t know Vermont law prohibits such an offer, leaving the bartender to pay a $160 tab until the broadcaster picked it up on the air the next night.

    Costas is currently off nursing an eye infection, but customers can see his check — now framed — and perhaps an NBC camera.

    “I’ve talked to a producer,” Tim Clark says, “and it looks like they’re going to come and watch with us. It could be a lot of fun.”

    Even if someone phones in with a spoiler.

    kevin.oconnor@rutlandherald.com

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