Natasza Zurek of Vancouver is regarded as one of the top overall female snowboarders in the world and is pushing the level of female riders to new heights. Small in stature but strong and tough, she is one of the few women to master tricks such as the Alley-oop McTwist and the Rodeo Flip which are generally reserved for men only. She is also the only woman currently ranked in the top-eight in halfpipe on both the International Snowboard Federation (ISF) and International Ski Federation (FIS) competition circuits. Zurek, 19, was ranked eighth on the ISF and earned rookie of the year honors posting three victories including two on her home course at Blackcomb Mountain at Whistler, B.C. She also took silver at the world championships On the FIS, she was sixth overall on the World Cup circuit and eighth at its world championships. Born in Zakopane, Poland, Zurek only began snowboarding in 1992.