It’s said that whenever Kelly Clark straps on her board a new grom is born. If you’re part of the very small group of people who’ve never heard of Clark then surely after today you’ll fall just as in love with her as the rest of us.
Why Celebrate Kelly Clark Today of All Days?
First thing’s first. Every day’s a good day to celebrate the legend herself but today’s celebratory post is a special one. One that will stick with me without a doubt. At age 35 Clark has announced her retirement from snowboarding and at the moment emotions are pretty high in and around the winter sports community. But don’t worry Clark’s not stepping out of our lives for good as she’s taking on a new role behind the scenes.
What Made Kelly the Legend She Is Today?
First of all, Kelly started snowboarding at an age where you’d expect a tike to be glued in front of the TV watching SpongeBob. Not Kelly, her love of snowboarding roots back to when she was only 7 years old and started competing at age 10. Today she’s known as one of the most decorated athletes in snowboarding today with, 78 victories and 137 podium spots. At 19, Kelly made her Winter Olympics debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games where she became the first ever American to receive a halfpipe gold medal. During her 20 years of dominating the sport, Kelly has managed to earn herself 3 Winter Olympics medals, 5 X Games titles and 9 more at the U.S. Open.
Let’s not forget about the Winter X Games back in 2011 when Kelly changed the game of women’s snowboarding for good. Imagine this. With one final lap left and with Clark in the lead, you’d expect her to shred out a mellow victory lap but all of a sudden she hits us all with something major. She made the call of attempting a trick no women had ever done in a halfpipe. She set out to land a 1080, where you twist around three times above the halfpipe and became the first female rider ever to pull it off. This paved the way for future female riders to challenge themselves more and made the division that much more competitive.
What’s Next for Kelly?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, she’s not leaving us completely as she’ll be taking on a brand new role behind the scenes. Burton’s played a massive role in Kelly’s professional career success as they’ve had her back through the good and the bad. Burton seems to have big plans with Kelly even after her retirement. One of her passions include the environment and she’s taken the initiative to make snowboarding a bit more green. Look out for a snowboard called “The Rise”. It’s an environmentally friendly snowboard for women that will go into limited production. Hopefully, we’ll see her expand this range in the near future.
Are You a Die-Hard Fan Now?
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