Chloe Kim Makes History With Gold Medal in Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe

Chloe Kim secured the gold medal within the girls’s halfpipe together with her very first run on the Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday—and made historical past within the course of.

Kim’s rating of 94.00 put her within the prime spot at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou. She remained there for the remainder of the competitors. That didn’t cease her from pushing even more durable on her last two runs.

The 21-year-old’s win makes her the primary girl to take back-to-back Olympic gold medals within the snowboard halfpipe.

Kim, the reigning girls’s snowboard halfpipe Olympic champion, got here to the 2022 Winter Video games because the overwhelming favourite to win gold. But Kim had no plans to relaxation on her laurels. She advised TIME in an Olympics cowl profile that she was planning to “go off” and had three new tips to unveil.
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She used her subsequent two runs to aim a land a 1260 trick, three and a half turns within the air—a feat by no means completed by a feminine snowboarder in competitors—however was unable to place it down.

Kim fell on her second run, and a spill by Japan’s Ono Mitsuki forward of Kim’s third run meant that she had secured gold earlier than her last run. However, Kim nonetheless went for it.

Regardless of her gold medal win, Kim appeared just a bit dissatisfied together with her efficiency. “I hit my face so exhausting,” she could possibly be heard saying after her third run.

Chloe Kim Snowboard - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 6
Patrick Smith–Getty PhotosChloe Kim performs a trick throughout the Ladies’s Snowboard Halfpipe Closing on Day 6 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on Feb. 10, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

Learn extra: Chloe Kim Is Able to Win Gold Once more—On Her Personal Phrases

Eileen Gu, the American-born free skier competing for China, who’s wildly standard within the nation, was there to help Kim. The athletes had been seen hugging after Kim’s second run fall, and Gu could possibly be heard encouraging her. “You’ll get it in your subsequent one!” she mentioned.

Queralt Castellet of Spain took the silver, and Japan’s Tomita Sena received bronze. The space between Kim and her closest competitor was a full 4.25 factors.

Kim’s second Olympic gold is simply one other step on her unbelievable journey from baby halfpipe prodigy to the world’s prime feminine snowboarder.

Kim, whose mother and father had been born in South Korea, was raised in Torrance, Calif., and he or she took up snowboarding at age 4, tagging alongside together with her dad on journeys to the slopes at Mammoth Mountain. It took just a few extra years—and a visit throughout the ocean—for Kim to actually fall in love with snowboarding. When she was 8, she spent two years residing with an aunt in Geneva, Switzerland. She received a junior competitors in Switzerland and by no means appeared again. She began working with the U.S. nationwide staff at 13. She was that very same age when she received her first main medal, a silver within the halfpipe competitors on the 2014 X Video games.

Kim would have made the U.S. staff on the 2014 Winter Olympics, however she didn’t meet the minimal age requirement. 4 years later on the 2018 Winter Olympic Video games in Pyeongchang, Kim turned the youngest feminine Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding historical past. On the Video games, the then-17 yr outdated turned the primary girl to land back-to-back 1080s—three full rotations within the air—at an Olympics—and that was after she had already clinched the gold medal.

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Tim Clayton—Corbis by way of Getty PhotosGold medalist Chloe Kim Workforce USA celebrates her gold medal win throughout the Snowboard Girls’ Halfpipe competitors at Phoenix Snow Park on Feb. 13, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Kim continued her trailblazing tips when just a few months after the Video games, she turned the primary girl to land a front-side double cork 1080—an aerial rotation achieved twice—in a halfpipe. She was named Feminine Athlete of the 12 months on the 2018 ESPY Awards and used her platform to talk out towards anti-Asian racism. After years of competitors, Kim wanted a break. “I used to be so burnt out, I simply couldn’t do it anymore,” Kim beforehand advised TIME. “I felt slightly misplaced. I used to be in a fairly low, darkish place.”

So Kim determined to take a break from snowboarding and go to school, hoping to expertise a traditional teenage life. She enrolled at Princeton College within the fall of 2019. But when the pandemic shut down campus in March 2020, Kim returned to the snow. However that point away from the halfpipe allowed her to enter Beijing with a wholesome perspective. Kim advised TIME final yr: “I suppose I’d inform my youthful self that although issues get exhausting and persons are imply to you or no matter, it’ll get higher and also you’re going to appreciate that you’ve got a lot good taking place in your life, that the unhealthy isn’t going to harm you.”


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