Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern
Olympic gold and bronze medalist Kelly Clark is considered to be the greatest female snowboarder of all time. Kelly, a three-time Olympic team member, has won every major snowboarding event and title in the history of the sport. She was the first woman to land the 1080 in competition! We spoke with the Olympic veteran about training, fuel and success. Here’s what we learned:
Do you have a fitness motto? Train smarter, not harder. Include rest days and hard fitness.
Tell us about your diet. What are some healthy eating tips you try to live by?
Just eating healthy isn’t enough…It’s really about recovery food and keeping my energy levels up while I am being active. I eat a lot of meat. My body responds well to protein. Chicken, beef, coupled with salad and veggies.
What is your go-to post workout fuel? Chocolate milk.
What is your favorite moment in your snowboarding career? I’ve had a very long career; this will be 14th X Games. I would say winning the Olympic gold medal when I was 18 in my home country— that would be the pinnacle of my career.
You are considered to be one of the greatest female riders in history. How do you feel about that? There are a lot of riders who inspired me; they showed me what is possible to do on a snowboard. At the same time I want to continue to be successful. It’s not about doing well but staying motivated.
How have do you deal with the pressure of this title? It is something that you learn. It look me 15 years of competing to figure it out…I think the core of my success comes from the fact that I am very comfortable in my own skin. I also set goals that I am happy with achieving. This model has lead to a lot of consistency. I am doing things because I want to, because it is a goal. Being internally motivated is key.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the slopes? I like to read, play the guitar and fix my home. In the summer I enjoy outdoor sports that are all training-related like surf trips. I have been surfing since I was 12.
Do you have a favorite surf spot? Destination: Nicaragua. I went there this past summer and I loved it.
What is one insider secret you have to share? I would encourage people to figure out who they are apart from what they do. Learn to operate from that place of identity not search for it.
Why is the Kelly Clark Foundation and giving back so important to you?
I received a lot of help along the way and I had a lot of people believing in me. I took a step back and looked at my career. I began to think about how I could have a lasting impact and the Kelly Clark Foundation does just that. It is now an accessible sport to everyone and that’s what I wanted to make possible.
Kelly is set to compete in the upcoming Winter Dew Tour, Winter X Games, the U.S. Open and the 2014 Olympics. Learn more about the Kelly Clark Foundation and stay up to date with the snowboard legend’s upcoming season on Facebook and Twitter.