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Kelly Clark

Search for “Kelly Clark” on Google and it won't ask you, “Did you mean Kelly Clarkson?” Clark, 30, is a superstar in her own right. With more than 125 awards and 60 first-place trophies, the Vermont native is one of the world's best snowboarders. In fact, X Games Aspen just named the 12-time medalist the most decorated female athlete in the halfpipe competition's history.

Clark first carved s-curves in the snow as a kid on a plastic rinky-dink Mobile Monster snowboard from K-Mart. She later enrolled in the nearby prestigious Mount Snow Academy and eventually moved onto better boards (she's now sponsored by Burton). At 18, Clark went on to win her first Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. She returned to defend her title in the 2006 Turino Winter Games, but just narrowly missed the podium, finishing in fourth place. Not satisfied, Clark was determined to make her performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics about redemption—and she got it in the form of a bronze medal.

Don't expect Clark to settle for another bronze in Sochi. Though she deeply values her third place finish, Clark's competition seasons since Vancouver are a strong indication that this girl is in her golden years.

“This season combined with the last three are the four best seasons that I've ever had,” says Clark, who admits she didn't anticipate being at the height of her career at age 30 (that makes her 13 years older than her Olympic snowboarding teammate Arielle Gold, 17). Just looking at her power performances at the Olympic Qualifiers—she won three out of five in a row—you know that this Olympic veteran is on fire. And so does she.

“Going into my fourth Olympics, I don't need to prove who I am," she says. "I know from experience that there's a big difference between having potential and being prepared.” With a stellar 15-year-career under her belt, there's no doubt Clark is more than prepared to get the job done. —Cristina Goyanes