She came, she soared, she conquered.
U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim, who was too young to be eligible to compete at the 2014 Sochi Games, had been preparing for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang for four years. So when she finally hit Phoenix Snow Park’s slopes at the women’s halfpipe competition, the 17-year-old did not disappoint.
After a first run that involved a challenging McTwist and frontside 1080, Kim delivered performances that set the bar high for her opponents. She took a commanding lead over the rest of the field, as none of the other athletes were able to match her near-perfect final score of 98.25. Despite the opportunity to take a victory lap, Kim, with the gold already secure, gave the audience what it wanted with back-to-back 1080-degree spins, making her the first woman to achieve the sequence of tricks in Olympic competition.
It marked the first Olympic gold medal win for Kim, who became the youngest woman to win the Olympic snowboarding gold and the second 17-year-old on the U.S. snowboard team to clinch the medal. (Red Gerard earned top marks Saturday at the men’s snowboard slopestyle.)
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