Kelly Clark of West Dover, Vt. has been on the mountain since she was a child. Even now, she approaches each new halfpipe with fresh eyes and perspective.
“You think about that moment for 4 years. You wonder what the pipe is going to be like. It’s special every time you see a new pipe let alone an Olympic halfpipe. It’s like Christmas morning,” Clark said about seeing the Sochi halfpipe for the first time.
Clark won gold on the halfpipe in 2002, bronze in 2010, and is now competing in Sochi.
“I think you value things off of what they cost you. “For me, success looks like faithfulness. I can’t control the outcome. I can’t control what the other girls do. I can’t control what the judges think of me. But I can bring my best,” Clark said.
There’s so many principles that come to the sport of snowboarding that apply to life. Falling down and having to get back up, having to negotiate a very intimidating environment. It’s made Clark the person she is today.
“I think we can learn so many things through the avenue of sport that can help us develop as adults, as athletes.”
It’s a philosophy she hopes to instill in young athletes through her Kelly Clark Foundation.
“I think it’s a privilege to be in a place of influence. I could leave good contest results, sure. But to whose benefit is it but my own if that’s all I leave behind? I want to be able to look back someday and see that the sport of snowboarding is better because I was a part of it,” Clark said.