Elena Hight, 20, (that's her in the air, left) starts competing today for the US Snowboarding Halfpipe Team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In 2003 -- at age 13 -- Elena was the first woman to land a 900 (that's a freestyle trick where you spin 2.5 full rotations -- watch Elena do it) in competition. Badass. She took 6th place in the Snowboard Halfpipe at the 2006 Turin Olympics, and she's back in Vancouver for more! We talked to Elena about snowboarding, eating and her boyfriend Greg Bretz, who's also competing in Vancouver (how cute is that? Olympic love!).
I Heart Daily: Training so much must leave little social time, but you met someone through snowboarding... fellow Olympic team member Greg Bretz! What do you like most about him?
Elena Hight: We met when he joined the team at the beginning of last season. We traveled most of the second half of the season together and just became really close. The best thing about Greg is that he finds joy in all of the small things. He can make any situation fun no matter what the circumstances are.
IHD: Aww. What does it feel like to be in the halfpipe? EH: It's one of the only times in my life that I am fully in the moment. It almost feels like a time warp, everything goes so quick but at the same time it's all standing still.
IHD: What's your favorite halfpipe trick? EH: Frontside 720 japan grab. (Yahoo Answers helps us out on this one... it sounds awesome.)
IHD: Okay, normal person question: What are your favorite foods? EH: While I am actually on the hill the best snack is dried fruit. Off the hill, I'm a huge sushi fan.
IHD: Tell us one unexpected thing about you: EH: I love to cook... everything from fish to steak to waffles to desserts. Trying out new recipes is one of my favorite pastimes.