Elena Hight moved to Lake Tahoe from Hawaii when she was six, so snow was new to her.
Acrobatics, weren't however.
Her parents tell her she was jumping off everything by the age of two. And now, after a big setback, Hight is hoping to jump back into the games.
“My mom says that I was a piece of work,” Hight said during a recent interview with NBC Bay Area in Lake Tahoe. “When I was very young, I started walking – I want to say eight months – and I started jumping off everything when I was two years old. My mom said I was such a liability, and yeah I guess I was just kind of a daredevil from day one.”
Daredevil … or Olympian.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell one from the other.
Or perhaps, like Hight, it takes one to be the other.
The 28-year-old South Lake Tahoe native’s high flying acrobatics have landed her in two winter games.
In 2006, at just 16, Hight was the youngest member of the U.S. team.
In 2010 she was back, and it looked like her future in the sport was set for years to come.
But then, 2014 rolled around.
"I didn't make the team in 2014. It was a really tough year for me and, yeah, I don't know, sometimes things just don't work out the way you expect them to,” Hight said.
After so much success in the sport, Hight was forced to face up to not succeeding.
It knocked her down, she admits, but not out.
“Even though I had this huge failure that really was hard on me and it kind of felt like it was the end all be all at the time, when I got over it I realized that I still loved snowboarding for all the reasons I loved it in the beginning,” Hight said. “I'm still so passionate about it – I didn't want to give that up just because I failed once.”
So Hight is back, gunning for 2018.
She’s looking back on both ups and downs: “I would say that if you're paying attention you learn from both.”
2010 Olympic Winter Games, 10th place
2006 Olympic Winter Games, 6th place
2013, World Cup Sochi, 9th place
2013, X Games Tignes, silver medalist
2013, X Games Aspen, silver medalist
2012, World Championships, 6th place
2012, X Games Tignes, silver medalist
2012, X Games Aspen, silver medalist
2012, U.S. Grand Prix Mammoth Mountain, 1st place
2012, U.S. Open, 1st place
2010, U.S. Grand Prix Mammoth Mountain, 2nd place