With over 70 wins in competition, Kelly Clark has built a legacy. Absolutely everyone in the snowboard world has heard of her and she’s been an inspiration for many. Now, she’s still active and has launched her very own foundation to help the youth through snowboard and outdoor activities:
I grew up in a small mountain town in Vermont, I started skiing when I was two and then snowboarding when I was seven. I did not have aspirations to be a professional snowboarder until I saw it in the 98 Olympics. I recorded the snowboarding from the Olympics and watched it after school, after watching it I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.
“I differed from college for one year out of high school. I had one season to show my parents what I could make snowboarding a career. I won the X-games, US Open and the Olympics that season. It was my breakout season, and my parents were okay with me pursuing snowboarding as a career after that.”
The accomplishments are my last two Olympic experiences stand out as favorites for me. I was able to get on the Olympic podium 8 and 12 years after I first got up there. To sustain that high level of competition was a huge accomplishment for me. I think you value things based off what they cost you, and I know how hard those medal were to earn. I value them those two bronze medals even more than my gold from Salt Lake.
“I was filming in New Zealand and my friend was caught in a large avalanche. She made it out alive but she disappeared after her first turn in a cloud and tumbled under a sea of snow almost 200ft, her snowboard was still attached to each foot but it has been snapped in half on the way, we were thankful that it spit her out on the surface when the mountain came to a stop. It was by far the craziest/scariest experiencece I have had snowboarding.”
I have gotten to go to Japan and snowboard a handful of times. From the culture, the food to the snowboarding, it is hands down my favorite place to visit.
I started the Kelly Clark Foundation in 2010 and I wanted a way to give back to the sport that has given me so much. We give scholarships to high level competitive athletes who need financial support to make their dreams come true. We also partner with snow related non-profits and support their snow programs to get under served youth on snow. We help youth be successful through snowboarding.
What or who inspired you to create it?
Ross Powers had a foundation growing up, and I always admired it. I knew I wanted to give back and after seeing the difference he made with his foundation I wanted to do the same. It has been fulfilling to build something that will outlast my ability to perform.
“I am pretty active. I enjoy getting out on my bikes, surfing, wake surfing, hiking and paddling boarding. I pretty much like to be active outside any chance I get.”
Always challenge yourself by trying to learn new things. Something I love about snowboarding is that you are never the best, and you can always learn and progress. A great way to keep snowballing fun is to always challenge yourself to get better. So keep it fun by constantly learning new things.
KEEP UP WITH KELLY: