VMS students interview stars of snowboarding | VailDaily.com

VMS students interview stars of snowboarding

On stage at the Vail Mountain School auditorium Tuesday, Danny Davis, left, Kelly Clark, center, and Mark McMorris answer questions from students who plan on cheering for the pro snowboarders this week at the Burton U.S. Open.
John LaConte | Jlaconte@vaildaily.com |

VAIL — As far as interviewing a pro snowboarder goes, you can’t do much better than Mark McMorris, Kelly Clark and Danny Davis. And a handful of lucky Vail Mountain School students got to fire questions at all three of the star riders on Tuesday.

“I was really excited when I heard I would be given the chance to talk to them; what an extraordinary opportunity,” said sophomore Hunter Meier.

Meier asked McMorris what gets him hyped up for competition.

“Music and just getting into the zone,” McMorris answered. “And coming here and talking to you guys.”

Following the interview, Meier said he appreciated the riders answers to his questions.

“They were very straightforward,” he said.

For kids trying to determine which direction to go with their lives, a few straightforward words from Danny Davis revealed the fine line between pro and recreational rider.

“If you weren’t a professional snowboarder, what do you think you would be doing,” ninth-grader Alyssa Hilb asked Davis.

“That’s a great question,” Davis responded. “If I wasn’t a professional snowboarder I think I’d be doing something in the mountains — ski patrol, guiding, working at the bagel shop just to shred. I might be working at the bagel shop if I wasn’t snowboarding.”


Sean Weller, a junior, said while he loves Vail, he’s looking for more snowboarding destinations to explore and asked Kelly Clark where she would recommend.

“If I could pick one spot to go, I’d go to Japan,” Clark said. “That’s my favorite place to snowboard. It snows, and it snows, and it snows, and there’s not a halfpipe in sight. I love riding halfpipe but a good powder day goes a long way for me.”

When she’s not on the mountain, Clark told 11th-grader Laela Ellis that she enjoys drinking coffee and hanging out on the beach.

“I like surfing, trail running, riding my mountain bike or my road bike,” she said.

Davis told the students that when he began competing in the U.S. Open, he was in high school just like them. But he also played baseball, basketball and was even on his high school golf team.

“My parents made sure I stayed in sports. … I started snowboarding when I was 9 or 10, somewhere in there, and I think my greatest memories are of learning,” Davis said. “We had a slope in our yard, and we would stand on sleds or buy cheap snowboards. It was a while until I got a real snowboard. Those are the best memories — just trying to learn.”

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