Chloe Kim has won another gold!
Snowboarder Kim, 21, defended her PyeongChang title and secured first place in the women’s halfpipe for a second consecutive Games.
In her first run at Beijing’s Zhangjiakou venue, Kim threw down an epic performance with a 900 and two 1080s for an astonishing score of 94 that even brought her to happy tears. On run No. 2, she fell when she attempted a 1260 move. Lastly, on her third run, which was her victory lap as no other competitor even came close to her score, Kim once again went for the 1260, but fell.
“I’m not gonna lie, I had probably one of the worst practices I’ve ever had which does not put you in a good place mentally, especially out here. So I was dealing with all sorts of emotions, self-doubt, but when I was getting ready to drop into my first run, I just reminded myself it’s a brand new run and I just have to land it now. I’m so happy I was able to do that,” Kim told NBC after winning gold.
Speaking about pushing the progression of her sport with the 1260, Kim said, “It’s so important and honestly, the first run I was like, I’m just going to put down my safety run and then I’ll get two attempts at landing the cab 12. It’s a very new trick so I’m really looking forward to being able to land it, maybe at the next [Olympics].”
Kim, who has spoken openly about dealing with fame, also told NBC: “I’m in a much better headspace. I have a much better idea of what to expect and I’m so eager to see my loved ones, my family, my dog, my boyfriend, so I think that will keep me happy and I’m just going to feel all the feelings.” The star also got emotional when she was surprised with a video call with her parents, sisters and dog.
Spain’s Queralt Castellet won silver and Japan’s Sena Tomita took bronze.
Kim won Team USA’s second gold medal at the Beijing Games. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis became the first American to win a gold medal last night when she dominated the women’s snowboardcross event.
Four years ago, at age 17, Kim shocked the world with a near-perfect score and became the first woman in history to land back-to-back 1080s. Now with her victory in China, Kim is the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the women’s halfpipe event.
Following the 2018 Games, the athlete took a brief hiatus from snowboarding to attend Princeton University. Due to the COVID pandemic, she took courses online until May 2020.
After spending 22 months away from her sport, Kim returned to competition in January 2021 and came out the gate with a win at the Laax Open, claiming her sixth halfpipe title at the X Games.
Last fall, Kim spoke to PEOPLE about the pressure she felt heading into the Olympic halfpipe as the reigning gold medalist.
“I don’t like the whole defending title thing. I don’t like it because it’s been four years since the last Olympics. People change. And I think every Olympics, because of the gap between the two Olympics, you become a whole new person,” she said.
“It’s not like you defending the title. It’s like, ‘Let’s see how you’ve improved. Let’s see how you better yourself.’ Who cares about defending a title? It’s cool and all, it’s cool if someone wins two gold medals. As an athlete, I don’t really care about that. I care more about how I can ride,” Kim shared.
“Also, I feel like that’s what adds a lot of pressure to athletes. It’s those types of things that people say. I’m not defending anything. I just want to go have fun, do my best and feel good about my riding. That’s what I want,” the Together co-founder added.