Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark visited the USSA's TEAM Academy to share her passion for education. Photo: Riley Steinmetz/U.S. Snowboarding
Kelly Clark has been to three different Olympic Winter Games, is a regular on the podiums at events all over the world and holds the title Olympic Champion. But throughout her journey to the top, Clark hasn't forgotten what got her to where she is today. Recently, Clark took some time to talk to young athletes at the USSA's TEAM Academy to share her personal journey and why she considers education to be one of the most important things an athlete can receive. "While snowboarding careers last for a time, education is something that you will have your entire life," Clark explained, "I think it should be maintained with with the same excellence that we put into our sport." Clark also talked to the athletes about self-worth, enjoying sports and how to stay focused throughout an athletic career.
Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT) stopped into the USSA TEAM Academy to talk to young athletes about balancing education, social life and athletics.
Clark shared lessons she has learned throughout her career, including that the sport an athlete chooses does not have to be the defining characteristic in his or her life.
The USSA TEAM Academy (Total Educational and Athletic Model) opened its doors at both the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City and with the USSA’s Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP) in Lake Placid, NY this fall with 22 elite team student athletes. It is designed to enhance the USSA's Best in the World athletic vision with an academic program that fully supports elite team training and competition programs.
Clark also founded the Kelly Clark Foundation, which seeks to inspire disadvantaged youth to succeed in life through the introduction to the snowboard lifestyle and culture.
Kelly Clark While snowboarding careers last for a time, education is something that you will have your entire life. Education is often sacrificed when pursing athletics and I think it should be maintained with with the same excellence that we put into our sport. That way, we won't only have successful athletes, but successful people.
The most valuable thing I have learned in over the years is that you need to figure out who you are apart from what you do. I wish I had known it earlier in my career and it is the number one thing I tell people when asking for advice. I have found that it helps you truly enjoy what you do when you are not dependent it on it for your self-worth.