Name: Callan Chythlook-Sifsof
Hometown: Girdwood, Alaska
Current Location: Girdwood, Alaska
Best Career Performance: 2nd Place 2011 Winter X-Games
Q. What is the coolest thing you have gotten to do because you are an athlete on the national team?
A. The opportunity to travel and experience the world from this unique perspective is indescribable. I feel incredibly privileged to be in this lifestyle every day. Walking into the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics was one of the most impacting experiences of my life. The daily schedule at the Olympics is busy; so much has to happen each day with media and training that the emotional part of being there is secondary sometimes. Even behind the scenes before the Open Ceremonies took hours of preparation and waiting. Entering the threshold of that stadium was so overwhelming and emotionally powerful. Hearing the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard and the ceremony that you’ve watched on T.V. your entire life, to realize you are in it. Gets me all nostalgic just thinking about it!
Q. What are your goals for the future?
A. I would like to make the 2014 Olympic Team and consistently build on the progression in my sport every year. Last season I had the best results of my career and I hope to continue where I left off.
Q. How have sports empowered you (in being healthy, avoiding drugs, etc.)?
A. In order to commit yourself to an endeavor like making a national team or really anything at an elite level, there is little time for distraction. When I was in high school I saw this opportunity and wanted to grab hold of it. I very much had a one track mind. This was all I wanted to do and every day I strived to make it happen. It was a side effect of a commitment to my passion that I simply had no time for those things which could have negatively affected my path. In the end, if you want something special, something daring and out of the ordinary there is no room for those things. Life can offer some pretty outrageous experiences that will blow your mind a whole lot more than getting high.
Q. What advice do you have for young athletes who look to you as a role model?
A. When you're confronted with a crossroads in any endeavor, the safe road with more security and less adventure is never the road you want to take. The choice to pursue a snowboarding career was a huge unknown for me and it would have been far easier to tell myself that the goal was unrealistic than to commit myself fully. I chose to take a risk and attempt to pursue what I was passionate about. Goals and dreams are never easy; when the time comes to take an opportunity always seize the day!
Q. How important is it for athletes to have the balance of other interests and their sport?
A. Having other venues to express yourself, to have fun, balance yourself is so important in my life. Snowboarding has always been number 1 in my life; it's been my favorite thing to do, my career, my passion. But at the same time, it's remained that way because I always have had other interests and adventures going on too. School, camping, skateboarding and friends have made me feel balanced and always looking forward to the next competition. These things can allow you to look at what you're doing and your career from a different perspective. I’ve found that improves my ability to always progress, improve and not stay stagnant.
Q. What does it mean to you to be fast and female?
A. Fast and female for me is beating the social norms of male and female roles, letting the awesome athleticism of our women and girls shine to the fullest with no limit!
Compiled by Nancye Rahn.