While many people like to take a trip up to the snowy mountains for the apres ski, mulled wine, incredible views, and yummy foods, most people don their snowsuits and their goggles to seek the snowsport thrill. Indeed, they prefer to fling themselves down steep precipices covered in snow and ice, with just two skis or one snowboard for company – and it is pretty darn awesome!
For the most part, skiers and snowboarders only do so once or twice a year during their vacation period, but there are some people who put real time and effort into their craft and spend every waking moment thinking about the cold wind on their faces, the rush of the sport, and the detail that goes into the tips and tricks all snowboarders need to know. They are the real pros.
Luckily, there is a place for these kinds of people. Yep, we’re talking about the Winter Olympics! This year, all eyes are on the female athletes competing in the snowboard events – but have you ever wondered what these talented ladies look like in real life?
This year, the world is getting ready to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, hosted by the one and only Pyeongchang in South Korea. Occurring every four years (and two years after the Summer Olympics) the Winter Olympics are the epitome of competitive winter sports. Yet, it’s not all about skiing and snowboarding. With weird and wonderful sports being added each year, viewers can watch the likes of bobsleigh, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, freestyle skiing and more. However, it’s all about the snowboarding for us…
Snowboarding is one of the most popular leisurely and competitive snowsports in the business, but when you really think about it, snowboarding might remind you of a few other sports. This is because snowboarding was developed as a hybrid of surfing, skiing, sledding, and skateboarding – because apparently two sports just wasn’t enough! Unlike skiing, snowboarding is a relatively new addition to the snowsports crew. Modern snowboarding first made an appearance in the mid-’60s, and was originally called ‘snurfing.’
Although this awesome name didn’t stick, the sport did, and it has since brought the likes of Shaun White, Torstein Horgmo, and Travis Rice into popular culture. However, it’s not all about the men in the world of snowboarding. In recent years, women have proven that they are forces to be reckoned with out in the snow, and American snowboarders have made a name for themselves as epic athletes. Yet, we only see a small part of these female snowboarders when they’re decked out in their big jackets, hats, and goggles – so what do these top US female snowboarding legends look like in real life?
Born in 1991, Ellery Hollingsworth started her snowboarding career when she was a youngster. In fact, she was just 6-years-old when she first strapped a snowboard to her feet. After training and learning at the prestigious Stratton Training School in Vermont, Ellery ventured into the foray of competitive snowboarding – which has led her down a pretty successful slope. As the first woman to ever land a 1080 (a triple spin), Ellery Hollingsworth has also competed in major competitions such as the Winter X Games, the Sprint U.S Grand Prix, and she even took part in the Olympic qualifiers in 2014.
Ellery Hollingsworth in real life
After a few years in the world of competitive snowboarding, Ellery Hollingsworth has taken a bit of time off from standing on the podium to focus on her life and her career. She has since taken off her hat and goggles, and swapped it for a cap and gown to celebrate her graduation ceremony at Westminster College. Although she does still snowboard for fun, Ellery is now spending her time traveling around the world and uncovering new and exotic places, such as Iceland and various states in America.
If you’re a fan of snowboarding, there’s a high chance you’ve heard of Lindsey Jacobellis, as she is easily one of the most popular snowboarders in the business. With a love for three different snowboarding styles; snowboard cross, snowboard slopestyle, and snowboard halfpipe, Lindsey is hugely versatile – and her talent has shone through in the snow. In 2006, Lindsey competed in the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, and made the top of the podium with her gold medal in snowboard cross…the first and only American woman to ever do so! With five world titles to her name, Lindsey isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Lindsey Jacobellis in real life
Although she still has her feet firmly set on the mountains, Lindsey Jacobellis has used her fame to bring to light important issues close to her heart. When she’s not decked out in her snowboarding gear, Lindsey is getting her hands dirty as she works alongside the likes of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and she even adopted a stray dog she found on the streets of Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Alongside this, Lindsey also loves to surf.
Born in Hawaii, snowboarding wasn’t the first sport Elena was introduced to – but a move to Lake Tahoe helped her interact with the snow and the mountains, and form her love for the sport. At just 13-years-old, Elena was already making waves in the world of competitive snowboarding and had become the first ever woman to land a 900 (two and a half spin) during a competition. However, the record-breaking didn’t stop there. In 2013, she became the first ever person to land an impressive double backside alley-oop rodeo, which is a prestigious snowboarding trick.
Elena Hight in real life
With two Olympic games under her belt, Elena has truly become a snowboarding wonder in the United States. However, it seems this all-American girl has a few other talents up her sleeve. With a love for yoga, running, cooking, and surfing, Elena is living a life of ultimate health and fitness. She uses her website to promote these aspects of her life and offers fans the chance to view photos of her food and fitness, as well as her snowboarding and competition videos.
Kaitlyn Farrington’s journey started on a cattle ranch in Idaho, where she started to ride horses from a young age. As Kaitlyn and her sister got older, the Farrington family started vacationing in the mountains, where Kaitlyn was introduced to snowboarding. By the time she entered high school, Kaitlyn was competing in professional competitions, and soon became the first woman to land a backside 1080 spin. Alongside numerous forays into the Winter X Games, Kaitlyn’s claim to fame came in 2014, when she won Olympic gold in women’s halfpipe in Sochi.
Kaitlyn Farrington in real life
In 2014, Farrington was involved in a snowboarding accident, after she failed to land a frontside 360 jump. Although she was not seriously injured, Farrington had an MRI scan to make sure. From this scan, doctors noted that she was born with congenital cervical stenosis – a lifelong spine condition. Just a few months later, Farrington announced her retirement from competitive snowboarding but hasn’t left the world altogether. She is now working as a snowsports commentator and will do so at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
If you’re a fan of halfpipe snowboarding specifically, you’ll probably know that Gretchen Bleiler is one of the best in the business. After strapping her feet to the board when she was just 11-years-old, Gretchen started competitive snowboarding four years later. As the first woman to land a Crippler (an inverted 540 degree spin) during a competition, Gretchen soon garnered worldwide attention for her talents, and later won the silver medal in the women’s halfpipe in Turin in 2006. Alongside this, Gretchen has won the gold medal four times at the popular Winter X Games.
Gretchen Bleiler in real life
After a devastating injury in 2012, Bleiler made the tough decision to retire from the world of competitive snowboarding in 2014. Nevertheless, she has continued to live an active lifestyle and often takes herself into the mountains for fun. When she’s not racing off-piste, Bleiler enjoys mountain biking, surfing, and has also found a new passion in interior design. As if that wasn’t enough, Bleiler is also an environmentalist and works very closely with several organizations, including stopglobalwarming.org and the Aspen Snowmass Save Snow campaign.
As a keen lover for all things sporty, Chanelle Sladics was up and active as soon as she could walk. However, snowboarding wasn’t her first sport of choice. She started water skiing and skateboarding when she was just 2-years-old, she then started swimming, playing soccer and even playing roller hockey before an injury took her in the direction of the snow. After just two snowboarding lessons, she was entered into her first professional event, and came in second place! Since then, she has made a name for herself as an epic slopestyle and rail jam snowboarder.
Chanelle Sladics in real life
Throughout her career, Chanelle Sladics has competed in a whopping seven Winter X Games and has even finished in the 2009 TTR World Snowboard Tour top ten. Yet, a career in snowboarding isn’t all about the sport itself. In 2013, Chanelle began her career as a snowboard commentator for ESPN, and she has also created her very own all-female American snowboarding competition she has called The Super Girl SnowPro Community Cup – which aims to show the talent, strength, and skill of female snowboarders.
Hannah Teter is one of the most decorated female snowboarders in the industry – and it’s not hard to see why. Hailing from a family of proud skiers and snowboarders, Teter was brought up around the mountains and the snow, and soon found herself studying at the Okemo Mountain School. Before too long, Hannah had made a name for herself in the world of junior snowboarding and later hit the big time in the senior categories. With three Winter Olympic Games under her belt, Hannah has won a gold and silver medal in the halfpipe.
Hannah Teter in real life
Alongside her talent in the snowboarding world, Hannah Teter has also been recognized for her incredible beauty and physique – which was showcased when she was chosen as one of the four female winter sports athletes to appear in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In recent years, Hannah has also become a television personality and has been featured in various snowboarding documentaries and TV shows. With the rest of her free time, Hannah raises awareness for her charity, Hannah Gold, alongside various other organizations.
Often known as ‘Jules,’ Julia Marino is a relative newcomer to the world of snowboarding. In fact, she was known as a rookie until she made her epic professional debut in 2016. However, this wasn’t just any debut. She had a sea of eyes on her when she slid her way to victory at the prestigious FIS World Cup/U.S Grand Prix that year – and she wasn’t even meant to be competing! In fact, she was just a substitute. Since then, she has continued to make waves as a slopestyle athlete.
Julia Marino in real life
Although she is new to the world of professional snowboarding, Jules is not letting this fact keep her from dominating the competition. At just 20-years-old, this blonde beauty spends all day, every day on the slopes, perfecting her craft, forming new and impressive tricks, and getting ready for each competition that comes her way. However, when she’s not on the snowy slopes, Marino swaps her board for four wheels as an amateur skateboarder in her hometown of Quebec – and she’s pretty good at that, too.
Despite the fact that Kelly Clark is a little older than the other female snowboarders on this list, it’s fair to say that age hasn’t affected her talent. This snowboarding legend first took to the slopes when she was just 7-years-old and made her first foray into the world of competitive snowsports in 1999. Since then, Kelly Clark has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with, and has won the United States three Olympic medals in the halfpipe – including one gold in 2002, one bronze in 2010, and another bronze in 2014.
Kelly Clark in real life
Thanks to her Olympic wins and her success at various other snowboarding competitions, Kelly Clark has become one of America’s most decorated women. In fact, she hopes to add another Olympic medal to her collection this year at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Even when she is off the snow, Kelly Clark loves to surround herself with the sport. After creating the Kelly Clark Foundation a few years ago, the athlete has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for budding sports stars and snowboarders in the industry.
At just 17-years-old, Chloe Kim is one of the youngest snowboarders in the industry right now – but that isn’t holding her back. Although she was too young to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Chloe Kim made up for her lack of gold medal by winning a silver medal at the Winter X Games that same year. Just a year later, Chloe became the youngest ever snowboarder to win a gold medal at the Winter X Games in 2015, and it seems she is hoping for another big win in Pyeongchang this year.
Chloe Kim in real life
Thanks to her epic personality and her talent on the snow, Chloe Kim has recently become a popular favorite for snowboarding fans. This popularity was further heightened when the athlete was nominated as a contender in the Best Breakthrough Athlete category at the 2016 ESPYS. This popularity could also come from her awesome social media presence, where she showcases her ever-changing hair color, her skateboarding talents, and her perfect pooches, as well as the brands she sponsors. In fact, she is the North American ambassador for a Korean skincare brand.
As you might be able to tell by the name, Callan Chythlook-Sifsof is an Alaskan native – the first indigenous Alaskan snowboarder to be a member of the national team, in fact. Callan has been a major player in the snowboarding world since 2005 and has truly made a name for herself as a snowboard cross superstar. To date, Callan’s claim to fame is that she won a silver medal at the 2011 Winter X Games, as well as various other snowboarding accolades. Unfortunately, she will not be competing in this years Olympics.
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof in real life
When she’s not making shapes in the snow, Callan Chythlook-Sifsof does anything she can to make the most of the outdoors – after all, she was brought up in one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, she loves hiking more than anything. In 2014, Callan made headlines worldwide after she came out as publicly LGBT during the Sochi Winter Olympics. Callan made the decision to come out at that particular moment as a support to anti-Russian protests during the Olympics.
Born in Colorado, Arielle Gold made waves as a horse jumper before entering into the world of snowboarding. However, her transition wasn’t too surprising – considering her father was formerly a competitive skier, and her brother, Taylor Gold, is also a professional snowboarder. In fact, Arielle’s brother convinced her to start snowboarding, and she hasn’t looked back since. After winning the Burton US Open Junior Jam halfpipe competition in 2010, Arielle has won a further six medals, including the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Championships in the halfpipe.
Arielle Gold in real life
In 2014, and at just 17-years-old, Arielle Gold became the youngest snowboarder to be considered for the United States in an Olympic Winter Games. Unfortunately, an injury meant she couldn’t compete, but she has since come back with a bang. In her spare time, Arielle likes to take herself back to her roots and ride her two horses, Bugs, and Sparky. Alongside this, she also loves to play soccer and travel the world to discover new and exotic places and snowboard around the world.
Unlike many of the other snowboarders on this list, Faye Gulini doesn’t limit herself to one singular snowboarding discipline. Instead, she competes in snowboard cross, halfpipe, and slopestyle. It’s reported that her two brothers convinced her to start snowboarding at an early age, and at just 10-years-old, she competed in her first amateur event. Before too long, she debuted onto the professional circuit and has since competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games, as well as numerous Winter X Games.
Faye Gulini in real life
It seems as though Faye Gulini is just at the beginning of her career – so we can’t wait to see what else she has in the tank. Nevertheless, this snowboarder always ensures that she has time to spend on her hobbies and interests close to her heart. When she isn’t breaking powder, Faye loves to stay active, and can often be found swimming, rock climbing, wakeboarding, skateboarding, and camping. Alongside this, Faye is also a volunteer for the Wasatch Adaptive Program and heavily involved in charity work.
If you haven’t heard of Maddie Mastro, we don’t blame you – because this snowboarding star is a complete newcomer, but is causing a storm in the run-up to the Olympic Games. At just 17-years-old, Maddie started skiing when she was just 2-years-old, and transitioned into snowboarding just a few years later. In recent years, Maddie has made a name as a halfpipe trickster and loves the thrill of practicing the tricks and landing in the pipe. At the moment, she is getting herself ready to head to Pyeongchang to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Maddie Mastro in real life
Because she is still so young, Maddie has put a lot of her life on hold to continue with her professional career as a snowboarder. While others her age would still be at school, Maddie has been able to graduate a year early to be able to truly immerse herself into the world of snowsports. However, once she has reached snowboarding stardom, Maddie has reported that she would eventually like to go to college, as her mother is a teacher, and has instilled in her a love for reading. Good luck, Maddie!
After her first trip up the mountains when she was just 10-years-old, Jamie Anderson fell in love with snowboarding and was homeschooled to give her more time on the slopes. With a real passion for women’s slopestyle, Jamie has since become one of the leading contenders in this specific sport. In fact, she has jumped and flipped to the top spot numerous times – and was the proud winner of the gold medal during the Olympic inaugural event in 2014. As if that wasn’t enough, Anderson has racked up a whopping 11 medals over the course of her career.
Jamie Anderson in real life
Alongside her ever-increasing snowboarding medal collection, Jamie Anderson is also putting time and effort into helping others. In recent years, she has used her money, power, and talent to help budding snowboarders, as well as the environment. To do this, she has set up The Jamie Anderson Foundation, which relies on generous donations from the public to offer budding athletes financial assistance to pursue their dreams, while educating them on the world around us. She does all this while also preparing for the Winter Olympics in February 2018.