Spencer O’Brien: Pro snowboarder benefits from multisport experience

January 16, 2013 No Comments »
Spencer O’Brien: Pro snowboarder benefits from multisport experience

Growing up I was always an active kid.

I was born in the small village of Alert Bay, B.C. and spent the early years of my life playing on the beach and in the forest with my sisters.

When I was four my parents relocated our family to Courtenay, B.C. and I started getting involved in organized sports right away. I did figure skating, T-ball, swimming, skiing, and gymnastics when I was very young and once I was old enough to play on school teams I took part in every activity I could.

As I entered into my teens I was playing rep softball, club volleyball, dancing three days a week, playing school basketball, volleyball, soccer, field hockey and track and field as well as competing on a provincial level in snowboarding.

As you can imagine, I had to give up some things for others as I got older and my school load got heavier, but my parents never pressured me into doing one sport over the other based on how much they had invested in it. It was always up to me and what made me happy.

If I signed up for something my only obligation was to go and not flake out. I won’t lie, it happened a few times, I really disliked piano lessons and I didn’t last all that long in gymnastics or swimming.

Sports have always been an outlet for me in many ways and it’s through them that I learned a lot about myself growing up.

I didn’t always want to be a pro snowboarder, it wasn’t my goal when I first started riding or even competing, but as I got older I realized that I had been sacrificing sports that I really loved to play like volleyball and softball to snowboard more. When I realized that I knew that snowboarding would be a big part of my future, whether I made it to a professional level or not.

I’m very thankful to have had encouraging and supportive parents who always came to my games, my recitals and my snowboard events. We weren’t a rich family so for them to the give the amount of time and money they did is something I will always be grateful for.

I’m also grateful that I was given the freedom to choose what I liked to play. I never felt like I was doing it for someone else and it gave me the ability to grow at my own pace and really love what I was doing. Every sport I’ve played has taught me something and has helped make me the athlete and person I am today.

About Spencer

Spencer grew up on Vancouver Island in the community of Courtenay, British Columbia. A professional snowboarder, she’s a two-time Women’s Slopestyle Dew Cup winner and three-time medalist at the Winter X Games. She won the first ever TTR World Snowboarding Championship Slopestyle in 2012. In the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships Spencer placed second.

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