Zachary: Portraits of 14th Street Y


My name is Zachary Elder. I am 22 years old right now and I live right here in New York City. I’m a member here and I’m a two-time X-Game medalist in the Special Olympics for the unified snowboarding event, and I’m a 13-time national medalist in the USASA National Championships.

Community means giving back to other people and changing someone’s life for the better. The reason why I come here is to stay in shape. I usually come here 3 to 4 days a week. I take aerobics twice a week, functional training, three types of yoga, pilates, lunch crunch, and I work out with a personal trainer. This helps me train for not only the X-Games, but other competitions for snowboarding. Sometimes on Tuesdays before classes start, I help out with the CSA. It’s really great to help people get vegetables from a local farm in Massachusetts. As part of the community, I just like to volunteer and step up to help people. This community helps so many people, like myself.

I first joined the 14th Street Y sometime around 2015, after I graduated high school. It was before my second X-Games appearance. I started snowboarding when I was nine, and I’ve been doing it for twelve years. When I was watching the 2006 winter games before turning 10, I saw Shawn White, and he inspired me. My thirteenth season is coming around the corner, and I’m going to be back on the X-Games this January in Aspen, Colorado. I hope to surprise everyone with what I’m about to do.



Portraits of the 14th Street Y is a photography project by Bridget Badore that tells the stories behind the many faces of the 14th Street Y community, including members, staff, teachers, trainers, artists, caregivers, families, and local business owners. Each year, the unique stories of more than 20,000 New Yorkers is woven into the fabric that makes the 14th Street Y a Downtown home for all.

Learn more about this exciting photography series here. You can also follow along and support the Downtown Stories on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.