Kelly Clark at Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Halfpipe Snowboarding Finals (c) Jen Desmond/USSA
Kelly Clark is a halfpipe snowboarding legend: her Olympic record—gold in 2002 and bronze in 2010—alone stakes her place in her sport. In 2011, however, the Vermont native broke her own record, landing the first-ever 1080 in women's competition at Winter X Games 15. In 2012, Clark won 16 straight events in a row including Aspen and Euro X Games, TTR World Snowboarding Championships title, the Dew Tour and Dew Cup.
Athlete Spotlight: Kelly Clark
Name: Kelly Clark
Sport: Halfpipe Snowboarding
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: An opportunity came up to go to a mountain school that was based around competing. That was in 9th grade, so I was 14 I think. I really enjoyed it and have stuck with it ever since.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: There have been many great accomplishments in my career. Some of my favorites are winning the U.S. Open 5 times (more than any other woman), landing the first 1080 in competition and the other big one was my bronze in Vancouver. I think you appreciate things the more it costs you. Knowing how hard I worked and what it took to get back on the podium at the Olympics makes me appreciate that bronze more than anything else I have accomplished.
Goals for next season: I would like to continue to have fun, do well and progress my sport. X Games, World Champs and the U.S. Open are on my mind as well.
Favorite snow destination: I like going to Japan, It is a fun destination to start with and then once you add the snow it is all time. They get a ton of snow and it is never crowded :) always a good time.
Favorite non-snow destination: The beach, I love the ocean and I love surfing.
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: Not sure, I like to think that I would be doing something else I love.
Time you've been most scared in your life: Seeing a friend get caught in a slide...scary for a bit then she got spit out the bottom so it was a short, but scary moment.
Biggest vice: Coffee or ice cream
Biggest pet peeve: Windshield wipers on the windshield without any rain.
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Figure out who you are apart from what you do, know that nothing is impossible and always keep it fun.