Games & medals
PyeongChang 2018 2018
Chloe KIM biography
It’s hard to believe that Kim only turned 20 in 2020. The American can already claim to be the greatest female snowboarder of all time, and given she started so young, she could conceivably compete at another three Olympic Winter Games before she is finished.
Kim first burst into the public consciousness aged just 14; at the 2015 X Games, she was the youngest ever winner of a gold medal, taking the prize in the superpipe ahead of Kelly Clark. The records continued to tumble – she won X Games gold again the next year, and in the US Snowboarding Grand Prix, she became the first female boarder to land back-to-back 1080s.
Kim was too young to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games – an event she was already talented enough to win a medal at – and therefore her first taste of Olympic action came at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Kim was head and shoulders ahead of the competition, winning gold, notching the highest score in YOG snowboarding history, and acting as US team flagbearer.
The stage was set for PyeongChang 2018. Kim was, for many, the face of the Games. A fluent Korean speaker whose parents were first generation South Korean immigrants to the US, Kim appealed to home and overseas fans alike. She won gold in the halfpipe, with a remarkable score of 98.25 points, ten points ahead of her nearest rival. It made Kim a household name around the world, and the youngest halfpipe gold medallist. She has since been on the front of the Corn Flakes packet, been made into a Barbie doll, and starred in several films and music videos.
Kim, who has taken a season off, was recently admitted to Princeton University. She will begin studying science in 2023. First, however, she will defend her Olympic title. “I don’t want anyone to think I’m about to retire or anything like that. I just need some Chloe time,” she said about her break from snowboarding. “I’ve been competing at a pro level since I was 12. I wanted to kind of explore life outside of that scene for a year. I want to be in good health for the next Olympics as well as for the rest of my life, so I think this was a good decision.”