By: Charley Albert
In the 2018 Winter Olympics, Americans were introduced to Chloe Kim. Kim, described as “arguably the greatest female snowboarder of all time” by the Olympics website, became the youngest woman in her sport to win a gold medal back in 2018, at seventeen years old. In addition to her obvious talents for snowboarding, Kim charmed Americans with her positivity and warm personality.
Unsurprisingly, Kim has been snowboarding from a very young age. She was born in California to parents who had immigrated from South Korea. Kim started snowboarding at four years old, and by the time she was eight Kim was training in Switzerland. At just thirteen, Chloe Kim joined the U.S. snowboarding team. From there, she made a name for herself winning gold at the Winter X Games in 2014, making her the youngest female snowboarder to ever win this title. Since then, Kim has gone on to win five more X Games titles (olympics.com).
Chloe Kim specializes in the halfpipe. Many may recognize this event from skateboarding, biking (BMX), or skiing. The halfpipe structure consists of a long half-cylinder cut through the snow. It has tall sides that allow the snowboarders to gain momentum as they glide through the cylinder. Their speed helps them to take breath-taking jumps and flips as they reach each side of the halfpipe.
This past winter Olympics, Chloe Kim won her second gold medal on the halfpipe. Kim received 94 points, putting her much higher than the bulk of her competition and four points ahead of Queralt Castellet, the second place holder from Spain (npr.com). This run won Kim her second gold medal at just twenty-one years old. Because she is so young, Chloe Kim will be able to attend numerous more Olympic games in the future, as if she hasn’t already deemed herself to be one of the most talented figures in her sport.