February 18, 2019

Snowboarding - Kim dominant in halfpipe qualifying, Japanese disappoint

12 February 2018, 01:24 | Anna Jefferson

Chloe Kim's coronation is complete as rising US star wins halfpipe gold in Pyeongchang

Winter Olympics 2018: 'Hangry' Chloe Kim wins women's halfpipe snowboarding gold medal aged just 17

"Now that I think about it, I'm really glad I wasn't able to go", Kim told NBC Olympics past year. "All kids just want to be a normal teenager and that's what she seems like to me".

Despite breaking things off with her beau before the biggest snowboarding competition of her life, Kim doesn't think that there are any hard feelings between the two.

Even though his daughter is considered the top freestyle snowboarder in the world, Kim Jong-jin, father of U.S. athlete Chloe Kim, said Monday that watching his daughter's performance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was nerve-wracking.

For Kim, that parental guidance and support have fostered a love of snowboarding that has made her the best female rider in the world.

"I knew that my daughter would go to the finals if she doesn't fall", he said. "It's because I want her to learn French".

The 13-year-old snowboarder was too young to make Team USA.

Her upward trajectory in the sport has continued, as she has used almost unparalleled amplitude and the most progressive tricks to become the best women's halfpipe rider in the world. At 34, she is competing in her fifth games.

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.

"It's a priviledge to be in a place where I get to inspire the next generation", Clark said "and hopefully my ceiling will become her floor".

The result: her third gold medal in four years at the event.

The first response to her tweet - Hey, aren't you competing - says it all.

Kim has been working on them throughout the season, and whether she attempts them in Pyeongchang will depend on the quality of the halfpipe.

Kim, the Korean-American who has become the poster child for Pyeongchang 2018, looked superior to the rest of the field during both runs of qualifying. Teammate Maddie Mastro also is only 17. "She takes more runs than anyone", said Clark, a five-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist.

"She definitely reminds me of myself".

Now she sees it as a blessing in disguise. She has been defined as a "fierce competitor" and is a favorite to medal.

"Being in a class with kids, meeting new people and borrowing notes from other students, I've never done that before", said Kim, who was home-schooled.

They began to see the dividends in 2014.

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