Highlights coloring his hair and sunglasses resting on the top of his head, his speech and personality reveal the mellow yet confident swagger of an X-Games champion.
And while Jeff Ellis has been snowboarding for 10 years, you won't find him pulling any McTwists, nose grabs or frontside 720s for his home country of Canada in a competition any time soon.
For the North Carolina senior track and field star, who speaks as gracefully as he runs, there's only one international game he's interested in participating in.
"I've always wanted to go to the Olympics, still do," Ellis said. "Everything I do is geared for going down that road."
From the looks of it, green lights line the way. Ellis holds UNC's record in the 800-meters and is a three-time NCAA qualifier.
Ellis also was a member of the 1999 Canadian World Championship team, where he had the opportunity to run with track's greatest athletes.
"It was an eye-opener on what I have to do to get to the next level," Ellis said. "I was the young one on the team. It was just to get the experience at a national level."
While at the World Championships, Ellis met the fastest runners in the world and was even a part of a group toast to American 400-meter runner Michael Johnson for setting the world record.
The entire experience was invaluable.