Episode 19: Kelly Clark - What An Opportunity

Kelly Clark.jpg

About Kelly:

Kelly is a five-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medalist and the winningest athlete in snowboarding history. She is a trailblazer and dominant force in the sport of snowboarding, continually innovating and “raising her own bar” in every competition, but her success is more than medals on a shelf. 

Kelly’s pursuit of greatness inspires others to push the envelope of innovation. She wants her life to be the message. It is no secret that Kelly is a woman of faith and purpose and it is seen in her life.She consistently makes it about more than just herself and strives to inspire people everywhere to live their dreams.

Kelly wants the height of her success to be the foundation from which others are launched. “The greatest legacy I could leave would be to see my ceiling be the floor for the next generation. It is bigger than me, but it can start with me. I have found in a performance-driven culture, it is difficult to find true meaning apart from success on the podium, but I want people to see that success is an inside job.” Her authenticity and integrity is refreshing, piercing through the noise.

8-time US Open champ, 7-time X Game Gold medalist- 14-time medalist, two-time Olympic bronze and Olympic champ. 


This might be our favorite interview of all time. Kelly Clark was an early pioneer in women’s snowboarding and a women that both Kristi & I looked toward for inspiration throughout our careers. She is incredibly wise, grounded, and committed to leaving a legacy that motivates others to live their fullest lives.

In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Kelly’s wakeup call with her strength and conditioning

  • How her 2002 Olympic Gold Medal catapulted Kelly into deep reflection about what she had been seeking for her life

  • Why Kelly’s work to understand her identity helped her reconnect with snowboarding

  • How being internally motivated is the key to Kelly’s success

  • How her motto of “what an opportunity” transformed her competitive career


  • “Success won’t fulfill you.”

  • “I looked my whole life to be successful, but at the end of the day, I didn’t want to just be successful I wanted to matter.”

  • “Sudden success is easy, but sustained success is very difficult.”

  • “I’ve learned to value the things that no one sees more than the things that everyone sees.”

  • “You can’t really have a victory unless you have a fight.”

  • “You value things based on what they cost you.”

  • “Things are either a threat or an opportunity. I just chose over and over again to look at things as an opportunity.”

Thought ExperIment:

Kelly’s outlook on facing challenges and hard times through her life and career is incredibly powerful. She has made the choice, time and again, to see obstacles as opportunities and it seems this has played a large role in her success. So, how can you look at a challenge you’re facing and start seeking the opportunity in it? Let us know in the comments below!