In 1996, at age six, a child-size snowboard caught Elena’s eye when skiing with her father and sister. After trying it, she never looked back. Elena quickly ingrained herself in the competition circuit a year later. Jump to 2002, when Elena became the first woman to land a 900 in competition at only 13-years old. Her back to back 900s became a signature aspect of her riding, spinning more than her fellow female competitors.
Since the debut as a professional athlete, Elena has gathered nearly a dozen more podiums at major events including the Winter X Games, US Grand Prix, Burton US Open, the Winter Dew Tour, Vans Cup and more. In 2006 at just 16-years old, Elena represented the USA in her first Olympics in Turin, Italy, where she came home with an honorable sixth place in Snowboard Halfpipe.
Her sights are now on 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 2012 season was a huge success with several podium finishes, including gold at the Grand Prix in Mammoth, silver at Winter X Games in Aspen, silver at X Games in Tignes France and gold at the US Open Snowboarding Championships in Stratton, Vt. Off the snow, she also designed a six-piece clothing collection with Volcom’s VOLCOMunity brand which launched that Fall.
During X Games Aspen 2013, Elena landed the first ever double backside alley-oop rodeo in a halfpipe competition by a woman or a man. This trick has taken women’s snowboarding progression to a new level; and will further challenge her fellow athletes as they look towards Sochi in 2014. It also landed her a silver medal in Aspen and at X Games Tignes.
Check out Elena’s skills in a recent New York Times video about training for Sochi in New Zealand.
Sponsors: Volcom, Toyota, Nixon, US Snowboarding, Northstar at Tahoe, Smith, GoPro, Repreve, Rockstar Energy Drink
The mountain I learned to ride on was: Bogus Basin in Idaho
My motivation comes from: The feeling that I get after accomplishing something I didn’t know was possible.
The best thing I ever ate was: Dinner at Pure, a raw food restaurant in NYC.
When I’m not snowboarding, you can find me: In the kitchen
My favorite movie of all time is without question: Dumb and Dumber
In a different life, I’d be a (n): Pro surfer
My goal for this season includes: Making the US Olympic team
Favorite Bands: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Led Zeppelin, Florence and the Machine
Books: Blink, the Hunger Games, Water for Elephants
Places to travel: Japan, Australia, home to Tahoe