Kelly Clark is back and she’s going for the gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea! After a brutal hip injury, she’s ready to win it all!
1. Kelly Clark, 34, is a Vermont native, who now resides in Folsom and trains in Mammoth. — Clark, who was born in West Dover, began skiing at the age of two and then started snowboarding when she was just 7-years-old. When she was about to start high school, Clark decided to attend a mountain school, Mount Snow Academy, which she credits as the turning point in her career. She began competing in 1999, and became a member of the US Snowboard team in 2000. Just to put it into perspective as to how great Clark really is — The year after I graduated high school, I competed in 2002 Olympic games in Salt Lake City winning the Gold Medal in Women’s Halfpipe.
2. Clark is a decorated athlete, to say the least. — She is a four time Olympian, three-time Olympic medalist and the winningest athlete in snowboarding history. Clark is a 2002 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist; 2-time Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist [2010, 2014]; 7-time X Games halfpipe gold medalist; 8-time Burton U.S. Open halfpipe champion; 5-time World Snowboard Tour season champion; — Speaking of history, At the 2011 X Games, Clark became the first woman to land a 1080 in a halfpipe run. In 2015 Clark received the Best Female Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award.
3. Clark suffered her first major career injury in February 2016. — She tore her hamstring and labrum in her hip, which required surgery that she said happened to be worse than she thought. She spent seven months in rehab, with the first month being the most challenging, as she was nearly confined to a bed since she had limited mobility. “My feet had to be tied together and I couldn’t sit at 90 degrees,” she told Burton Snowboards. After some hesitation because of the severity of her injury, Clark was unsure how she would perform after the rehab process. However, she went on to excel and ultimately began winning like she had never left!
4. She’s an author. — Clark penned her first book, entitled, Inspired: Pursuit of Progress, which was released on December 19, 2017. The book gives readers a deeper look into her life, career, and pursuit of progress.
5. Clark gives back. — In 2010, she launched the Kelly Clark Foundation, which provides youth with the resources and opportunities they need to achieve their highest potential through snowboarding,” according to the official website. With the help of partners and donors, the Foundation gives promising young snowboarders opportunities to succeed. The Kelly Clark Foundation has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships in an effort to eliminate financial barriers for talented young athletes across the country.
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for the 2018 Winter Olympics?!