Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Chloe Kim is the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal

Chloe Kim is the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal

The win ticks another box in the career of Kim, who at 17 is already regarded as one of the best snowboarders in US history.

What separates her from the pack on the halfpipe is her ability to do back-to-back 1080-degree jumps.

The Californian teenager is already a slopestyle and halfpipe phenomenon, redefining the boundaries of her sport while most of her friends are finishing high school. Jessica Diggins placed sixth, failing in her quest to become the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. Kim then cruised through a near-perfect victory ride in her final run, earning her a score of 98.25.

Others noted Kim would be cramming for college entrance exams had she grown up in Seoul instead of California, while a small minority blasted local media for trying to claim the athlete as "Korean". She ran the gauntlet of TV interviews and negotiated the maze of reporters with equanimity.

Here's what she did on that epic run: Method; Front 10; Cab 10; Front 9; McTwist; Crippler 7 - that's according to the list she reeled off at a news conference afterward. But this is the best outcome I could ever ask for and it's been such a long journey.

After scoring just below the 100 mark, Kim said the run wasn't quite ideal - but we'll note that it was closer to perfection than anything the thousands of spectators and media had ever seen.

Nike, Toyota, and Visa are among companies that already sponsor Kim, and her marketing appeal is set to explode. Medals will be handed out after two more runs on February 13. The medal ceremonies at these Winter Games have been held hours after some events.

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"I want to fight to prove my innocence because I don't remember (taking the drug) and it's incomprehensible", Saito said in a statement.

"I need to go home and process everything", she said. She secured her spot with a strong second run that had flawless pacing and control in the halfpipe at Phoenix Snow Park.

Staring into the halfpipe, with all her Olympic dreams riding non a single run, Gold had a quiet, little talk with herself. To her, it meant everything.

All the same, it seems like she'll keep winning.

Kim's also been featured in Teen Vogue's icon issue, and made Forbes' most recent list of the 30-Under-30 sports figures. Back in 2014, she couldn't go to Sochi because she was too young.

"My mum keeps asking me to post pictures of her so she can get more followers". That task shouldn't be a problem for the five-time NFL MVP - you would think the Nationwide spokesperson would be pretty comfortable behind the wheel.

"Now I'm happy, all the stress is gone".

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Two years ago, Kim became the first woman to land back-to-back 1080 tricks in competition. She won her first Winter X Games the next year.

Chloe has long-praised her father, who was in attendance alongside Chloe's mother and grandmother at Phoenix Snow Park to watch her win gold with a near-perfect score of 98.25. There was a bronze medal to collect.

Heading into her third and final shot at a medal, the scores posted on the board in front of Gold were daunting, with the best riders in the world, including Liu Jiayu of China, as well as USA teammates Chloe Kim and Kelly Clark with an iron grip on the top three spots in this competition.

In Monday's two qualifying runs, Kim dominated.

She blew away the competition with a first run score of 93.75, clinching gold before her final round. "I tell her to be humble, that this is from hard work, that you weren't born this way".

Regular mortals are often fascinated by what elite athletes eat to fuel their bodies as they try to do what no one else can. They are also talking about the tweets she sent out in the middle of her competition about being "hangry".

By the time Tuesday rolled around, it was all focus. He said that any parent would do the same for their children. She has entered a whole new world. She might even get that ice cream. And though her father sacrificed much time, effort and sleep to further Chloe's career, the thought of doing it so his daughter could make her first Olympic splash in his native country was never part of the equation.

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