Feb 4, 2022 - Sports

U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim ready "to go off" in Winter Olympics after hiatus

Chloe Kim
Chloe Kim poses for a Team USA portrait in September. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim is looking for her second gold in snowboard halfpipe at age 21, after a transcendent performance led to her winning gold four years ago.

The big picture: When then-17-year-old Kim became the youngest woman ever to win Olympic snowboarding gold in 2018, it was hardly a surprise. If anything, it was long overdue because she was simply too young to compete at the 2014 Games.

  • She entered her first competition at age six, won junior nationals at eight and was a five-time X Games medalist by 16. The accolades keep coming, with four more golds at the World Championships and X Games since Pyeongchang.
  • But it wasn't all smooth sailing. Kim's sudden fame and the racism she faced as a Korean American put her in a "dark place," she told Time. She took nearly two years off and attended Princeton before returning to snowboarding last January.

What she's saying: At one point Kim said that she was “so burnt out, I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.

The event: Kim's Olympic debut in the halfpipe was transcendent, as she became the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s. Now, "she's doing tricks that some of the men don't even want to," said 2018 bronze medalist Arielle Gold.

  • "She is the greatest women's snowboarder of all time, by far," added Gold, her former USA teammate.

What to watch: Kim plans to unveil three new tricks in Beijing, but won't provide details beyond that. "They're an upgrade ... I'm going to go off."

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