Olympics medalist hopeful Chloe Kim has grown up with snowboarding


"Now that I think about it, I'm really glad I wasn't able to go", Kim told NBC Olympics a year ago. But it just didn't go how I wanted it to go.

Her smooth style and big tricks have many news outlets calling her a "prodigy" and Sports Illustrated, Vogue and the Los Angeles Timeshave referred to her as "the Shaun White of snowboarding", because she's the only athlete since White to score a flawless 100 at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. Even if you are in the midst of pressure-packed Olympics competition. There was one problem though: She was too young. She remains the only woman to successfully execute that combo. The 13-year-old Kim won silver in the X Games and had the scores to qualify for Sochi had she been old enough.

As a 15-year-old competing in the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix, Kim became the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s.

"It would be meaningful if I can get a gold medal in my parents' country", Kim told the press.

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When she was just 13, the Californian was too young for the 2014 Sochi Games, but four years later, the multiple X Games, World Snowboard Tour and Winter Youth Olympics victor is considered a big contender in the women's halfpipe.

This time in PyeongChang, she'll be a participant.

If Kim, who is 17, puts down the flawless performances she's known for at the Winter Olympics, she could become the youngest female snowboarder to win Olympic gold.

"I want everything to look good and ideal even though it may not be insane progressive or new", Kim said, "but I do want it to look good so everyone feels happy when they watch", Kim said.

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Her father would make the long, early-morning drive to Mammoth each day, with Kim asleep in the backseat.

"She definitely reminds me of myself". Her dad has made sure she's still involved in as many senior activities as possible, Jayne said, as she finds a balance between work and play. Teammates Arielle Gold, Maddie Mastro and Kelly Clark went second, third and fourth behind Kim at X Games.

Until then, Kim is looking forward to unveiling her unique style and jaw-dropping tricks to a new audience in South Korea, where she still has family that has yet to see her compete. She has been defined as a "fierce competitor" and is a favorite to medal.

And at the base of the halfpipe, where he always is, Jong Jin will see his daughter take the next, and so far biggest, step in the snowboarding journey they've been on together.

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