Since Kelly Clark was a teenager, she has been tearing up half pipes and competing at the highest levels of professional snowboarding, but even though she is constantly on the road, Kelly never misses a Patriots game.
Growing up in Vermont, Kelly became a dedicated Patriots fan once she started travelling for snowboarding. Football became a way to form a bond with others all across the country.
"We get going in the fall, so the season is just kind of in full swing with football right when we start traveling. We're out on the road but we have a lot of downtime so it became an excuse for us to gather on Sundays or Thursdays or Mondays," Kelly said.
While she tries to go whenever the Patriots play in Denver overlaps with her training in Colorado, she attended her first game in Foxboro on Oct. 22, doing a social media takeover for Bose. And she didn't come alone.
Along with her sister-in-law, Kelly draped all three of her Olympic medals – one gold medal earned in Salt Lake in 2002 and two bronze medals from Vancouver and Sochi – around her neck. Though she's stood on the podium with millions of people cheering her on, Kelly was awestruck standing on the Gillette Stadium sidelines.
"It's amazing the doors the Olympic medals open. You just don't realize how big they are and what kind of opportunities you will get," she said.
"This is a dream come true. I texted all my friends that I watch with on the road and was like, 'You're not even going to believe what I get to do,'" Kelly said. "This is a dream come true for me. I can't even explain how special it is. I think I'll look back at this night for a while and be in awe that I got to stand on the field and watch the greatest athletes out there."
Though she came to watch other athletes perform, Kelly will soon gear up and try to qualify for her fifth Olympic team, which would be a record. As a 34-year-old snowboarder, Kelly said she appreciates even more what Tom Brady has done on the field at the age of 40.
"I've noticed as my snowboard career ticks on, I'm becoming one of the older athletes as well. There was an event this summer that I podiumed at and if you added up the two other athletes at the podium with me it equaled my age," Kelly said. "I look at Tom Brady and what he's able to do and it's a huge inspiration for me as an athlete because I'm like, 'Oh, it's so possible.' I definitely find myself watching the older athletes and cheering them on because I know what it's like. We're capable but it just takes a lot more work than it ever did to maintain that level of excellence and fitness that is required of us."