Chloe Kim dominates for her first Olympic gold medal

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The Olympic snowboarding competition was held at Phoenix Park in PyeongChang, South Korea. The USA snowboarding team finished with six medals total.

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Chloe Kim is an incredibly successful 17 year old Korean-American snowboarder from Los Angeles. She made her debut at the X Games in 2014 at the age of 13. By the time she was 14 in 2015, she earned her first gold medal at the X Games, making her the youngest to receive a gold medal. In 2016, she earned two gold medals at the X Games making her the first person under 16 to win three gold medals. Also in 2016, she became the second snowboarder to score a perfect 100 points at the US Snowboarding Grand Prix, following Shaun White. At this same competition, she became the first woman to land back to back 1080s in competition. Chloe has been ready for the Olympics for 4 years. She just missed the minimum age requirement for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. This year, Chloe Kim heads to the Olympics with six gold medals, four in the X Games and two in the Winter Youth Olympics. It’s safe to say that expectations are high for Chloe Kim in these Olympic Games.  

The qualifying round for the halfpipe competition on Monday February 12 was a successful run for Chloe Kim.  A halfpipe is a U shaped course that has 22 foot walls. In the halfpipe competition, athletes are based on amplitude, difficulty, variety, execution, and progression. All of these aspects are scored on a scale of 100 points. Chloe’s first qualifying run got her a score of 91.50. Her second run got 95.50. She finished the qualifying round in 1st place, blowing out the competition. Three other Americans, Maddie Mastro, Kelly Clark, and Arielle Gold, also qualified for the final round of the halfpipe competition. During these Olympics, Chloe Kim also received media attention for her tweeting during the qualifying round. In between her runs she tweeted “Could be down for some ice cream rn”. By her qualifying round, Chloe Kim was already a fan favorite.  

The halfpipe final the next day was a big day for Chloe Kim. She earned the last start spot which is an advantage so that she could see what scores she had to make to win gold. Her first run was incredibly dominant, giving her a score of 93.75 as well as the top spot going into the second run. Many other athletes tried to top her score by landing a 1080, but none could pass her score heading into Kim’s second run. In the second run, Chloe Kim wanted to land back to back 1080s but could not get it done, giving her second run a score of 41.50. Headed into her final run, Chloe Kim knew she had already captured the gold medal, so her third run was a victory lap. Kim took this moment to really show off all her skills. In this run, she landed the back to back 1080s she’d been looking for. Her powerful final run gave her a 98.25 score and, of course, the gold medal.  

Chloe Kim truly did live up to the hype in her first Olympic games. She dominated all of her runs and truly made her mark on these Olympics. She became the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal.  She gained popularity with her tweets during her halfpipe competition that were all about food. Following her Olympic success, she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, just after being the cover of ESPN magazine in their latest issue. With an overall disappointing Olympics for the United States with only 23 medals, the USA snowboarding team was dominant in these Olympics. The snowboarding team took home four gold medals from Redmond Gerard, Shaun White, Jamie Anderson, and Chloe Kim, as well as two silver medals from Kyle Mack and Jamie Anderson and one bronze from Arielle Gold. Chloe Kim is the new face of snowboarding and hopes to continue to dominate for years to come.