Burlington, VT (January 25, 2019) – Kelly Clark is proud to announce that after a historic 20-year career, the winningest athlete in snowboarding history and first American Olympic Gold Medalist in the sport will be moving on from competitive snowboarding. As her longtime sponsor, Burton is honored to celebrate Clark's historic career and continued partnership with the development and limited-edition release of the RISE, a new women's snowboard designed by Clark.
Over the last two decades, Clark has made her mark as one of the greatest action sports and individual sport athletes of all time. A trailblazer for all female athletes, she has pushed the progression of snowboarding, and of herself, all the while serving as a mentor to the next generation of riders. Clark holds the record for the most podium finishes of any snowboarder in the history of the sport with nearly 200 events, 137 podiums and 78 wins including Gold at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, followed by back-to-back Bronze medals in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. Over the course of her distinguished career, the five-time Olympian earned eight Burton U.S. Open halfpipe titles spanning from 2002 to 2015, captured seven Winter X Games gold medals, including her historic 2011 win where she became the first woman to land a 1080 in the halfpipe, a trick that continues to be the standard in women's pipe.
Clark says of her decision, "For twenty years, competitive snowboarding has been the place to push myself, to see what I'm capable of, and to pursue what is possible. I learned to live and thrive in a performance culture, but not to be defined by it. I've learned that true greatness is an inside job and it's entirely possible you may be the only one who truly understands the depths of your victories. After twenty years, I feel I have found my own personal ceiling and it's time to let others stand on it. Just like I stood on the ceiling of the generation before me, the next generation of snowboarders will take the sport further than I ever could. Today, I proudly step away from competitive riding knowing that women's snowboarding is alive, well, and in good hands. But just because I won't be competing, doesn't mean I won't be riding. Less time in a jersey just means more time to explore what else snowboarding has to offer."
Throughout her decorated career, Clark has shaped the sport of snowboarding and she looks forward to continuing to do so in new ways beyond competitions. Clark recently authored her first book, Inspired, documenting highlights of her career as well as her approach to the hard work, motivation, and preparation it has taken to accomplish her competitive goals. An active speaker, Clark will continue to impart her learnings and inspire through ongoing speaking engagements as well as focusing more attention on the Kelly Clark Foundation.
As her longtime sponsor, Burton recognizes Clark's exceptional influence to the sport and brand. To celebrate the next chapter of her career and partnership, Clark and Burton Co-CEO Donna Carpenter are launching the new limited-release RISE women's snowboard made in Burlington, Vermont. Built with Clark's depth of knowledge on ride-ability combined with Carpenter's progressive knowledge of sustainability, the RISE is one the most sustainable boards Burton has ever produced.
"The RISE is the perfect way to commemorate Kelly's competitive career and celebrate her future with Burton," said Donna Carpenter, Co-CEO of Burton. "Twenty years of Kelly being involved in product development has culminated in the best women's board ever – both for the way it rides in all conditions and the fact that it's one of the most sustainable boards we've ever made. It's been an honor to collaborate with Kelly on the RISE, and we're all so grateful that she will continue to work with us on product development and inspiring the snowboard community."
The RISE is a tapered directional shape women's board incorporating careful materials selection to reduce the carbon footprint, which is in line with Burton's overall 2020 sustainability goals that includes a mandate to reduce hardgoods carbon emissions by 20%.
Clark says, "I know I'm happiest when I'm progressing and I'm challenged, so I'm excited to be able take this next step in my snowboarding career with Burton. I appreciate their continued support and am honored to be a part of the design process with the RISE. I had an opportunity to ride it recently in British Columbia and the board absolutely rips in pow. It's easy to maneuver in the trees, it stays afloat when it gets deep, and it's quick and nimble on the single-track run outs. I was really impressed as it really does it all."
With deep Vermont roots, just like Clark, this board was designed and manufactured in Burton's backyard. The graphic features the Peregrine Falcon, which is found in Vermont and is known to migrate up to 15,000 miles a year, always returning back to its favored familiar places. The Peregrine was once endangered due to harmful chemical pesticides, but thanks to the curtailing of those harmful materials, the Peregrine Falcon population is now booming. Only 50 of this very limited edition board will be produced. The board will retail for $599.95.
Clark plans to take her final contest run at the Winter X Games this Saturday, January 26, 2019 on ESPN. To learn more about Clark's next chapter, check the video highlights of her career and her reflections on all she's achieved and all that's to come.