Stories of inspirational women: Kelly Clark
Snowboarder Kelly Clark didn’t win a medal or break a record last month in the PyeongChang Winter Games. But she was given a high honor by a fellow athlete and praised for the impact she’s made on her sport.
Chloe Kim, a 17-year-old gold medalist and Team USA snowboarder, presented Kelly with the “Order of Ikkos Medallion,” an award a medalist can give to someone who has influenced them (it’s normally given to a coach). Chloe said that Kelly been a mentor, encouragement, and inspiration to her as a young athlete.
Kelly has mentored countless other young riders and been a cheerleader for all of the athletes on Team USA throughout her snowboarding career. She also began the Kelly Clark Foundation, which given more than $150,000 to kids who can’t afford ski and snowboard lessons.
The PyeongChang games were probably Clark’s last, after competing in five Olympics. But her positive influence will be remembered for many games to come. She said, “I think the medals are wonderful, and I’ve given my life to pursue them, but seeing a life that’s changed, that is the best use of influence.”