The Grind: Snowboarder Kelly Clark On Prepping For The Olympics

Switzerland Snowboard European Open
APKelly Clark

By Angela Haupt

The 1080 is the kind of trick the snowboarding world takes seriously – really seriously. It's a move that separates the elite from the wannabes, that shows who's willing to push the sport's limits and, literally, ride to new heights.

Which is why it was fitting – and a big deal – when Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark became the first woman in history to pull one off in competition in 2011, perfectly executing the 1,080-degree spin, or three revolutions midair.

But that's just another day in the life of Clark, 30, of Dover, Vt., who also regularly shows off moves like the 900, or completing two and a half rotations while spinning at 495 degrees per second. She's the most accomplished athlete in men's and women's snowboarding history, with a résumé that includes three Olympic appearances, four U.S. Grand Prix titles and 11 X Games medals.

In an interview with U.S. News, Clark dishes on how she's prepping for the Games, both physically and mentally: