Interview with an Olympian: Elena Hight
A glimpse into the life of a young Olympic snowboarder, who she considers her biggest hero, and where she’s headed after Vancouver.
-April Daniels Hussar
Originally from Kauii, Hawaii, as a little girl, Elena Height moved to Boise Idaho and then Tahoe, California, where she traded the surf for the snow and fell in love with snowboarding. At only 20, Elena already had many notable accomplishments under her belt – not the least of which is making the 2010 U.S. Olympic Snowboarding team. She didn’t medal this time, but she’s definitely one to watch. Here’s a quick look into what it’s like to be an Olympian…
When you were only 13, you were the first girl to land a 900 (rotating 900 degrees on the board in the air!) in a competition. How has it been competing in what seemed to really start out as a male dominated sport?
When I started competing, women’s snowboarding was just beginning to grow. It is awesome to have been a part of watching and helping it become an accepted and respected part of snowboarding.
How do you feel about your fellow female Olympic athletes posing for sexy photo photos?
I think that there are a lot of beautiful and strong women athletes and it is great to be able to show girls that you don’t have to decide between being a pretty girl or a strong forceful athlete. You can have both and I think that girls need to be shown that so that they get more involved in sports.
Describe a typical day in your life:
During the winter I am generally getting up early, eating a good breakfast, and snowboarding for a few hours. Then, coming down for lunch, going to the gym and hanging out with friends. After that, cooking dinner in the evenings and going to bed early.
What’s the hardest part about training for the Olympics?
The hardest part is forcing yourself to do things that aren’t necessarily the fun part of snowboarding; waking up early, riding in bad conditions, long days training in the gym. Working through these things are what makes the difference when it comes time to compete and they are necessary to prepare yourself.