Snowboarding, mid air jumps… do girls actually do that? To ordinary people who are more likely to regard snowboarding as a dangerous and tough sport for men, Kim Soo-young (International Studies, 3) sends a confident message: “Big air jumps are actually one of my specialties. Since I’m relatively small compared to the other snowboarders, I am better at tricks than speeding,” says Kim, who has just stepped forward as a professional in the field of snow boarding being sponsored by Forum Snowboards.
Kim’s snowboarding life has been inspired by her father, who was a professor of physical education who taught her how to ski when she turned five. Even then, Kim was charmed by snowboarding, which fascinated her as an extreme challenge that few people conquer. However, she only started to devote herself to snowboarding three years ago, and her first breakthrough as a professional came this year by winning the amateur Big Air Championship at the 2007 Burton Classic Snowboard Competition on January 25 and 26, defeating about 300 other competitors in the process. Winning the championship also served as a turning point to earn her the full support of her parents.
“Come to think of it, I might have been destined to become a snowboarder with my athletic family background. My dad was a professional horseback rider and also a tennis player. I have a mom who manages a gymnasium, and my grandma happens to be a professional basketball player with a height of 172cm. But strange as it may seem, I severely collided with my parents as far as the snow boarding was concerned. They, even my dad who motivated me to start skiing in my childhood, denied the fact that snow boarding actually can be a professional career—not a mere hobby,” said Kim.
Even though Kim was working as a columnist in a snowboard magazine, people around her as well as the parents did not approve of her ardent enthusiasm toward snowboarding. However, their attitudes changed after Kim proved her potential.
“It would be a lie if I say that I don’t feel at all overwhelmed when my friends spend their time doing internships while I fly over to the foreign countries to practice during vacations. But this is the path I decided to follow and I have never regretted on taking it. I believe I was able to become professional in such a short time because snow boarding was something that I could devote my whole soul and passion to,” said Kim.
Kim hopes to become as skillful as other professionals in her field in near future and her final wish is to be able to engage in a profession which involves either snowboarding or her division of international studies. Therefore, she also is diligently attending journalism classes in Ewha—so as not to exclude the possibility of becoming a capable journalist in a sports magazine.
Kim encourages Ewha students to engage in a lot of experiences while in their college years in order to find a life-long source of enthusiasm. Kim commented that sometimes the academic part is only a minor part of university life and club activities might be unexpected but efficient guides in planning future career goals.
caption: The professional female snowboarder and Ewha's DIS student Kim Soo-young.