Snowboarder Chloe Kim Is the Youngest Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal In the Halfpipe
The energetic 17-year-old became a household name pretty much overnight.
By now you've probably heard about U.S. Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, who, at just 17 years old, just became the youngest woman ever to win a gold medal in the halfpipe in the Olympics. Even before making history, the Korean-American was on everyone's radar as an athlete to watch in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics-spectators even dubbed her the next Shaun White.
During her third and final run (after crushing the first, but falling on the second), Kim proved that her skills were worth the hype as she landed back-to-back 1080-degree rotations to end up with an almost-perfect final score of 98.25. Just think: Most 17-year-olds' biggest accomplishments are good grades and passing their driver's license test. (In other news, Mirai Nagasu became the first woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics.)
Despite her unicorn-like athleticism, Kim still manages to remind you of your casual-cool friend from high school. The SoCal native loves experimenting with new hair colors and hitting up the mall. Her Twitter feed is filled with reflections on Netflix, homework, and her cravings for pizza, churros, hot Cheetos, and ice cream. She listened to Nicki Minaj's "Motorsport" during her final Olympic run and thinks former Disney star Cole Sprouse is a babe.
But don't get it twisted: Kim is no "girl next door." During the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix when she was 15, she became both the first woman to complete back-to-back 1080s (a trick she nailed to clinch the gold in the Olympics) and the first woman to achieve a perfect score during that competition. She credits her dad, who immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea, for helping her achieve this level of success in her sport. "[My dad] was my coach for a really long time," Kim says in this YouTube video by sponsor Samsung. "He taught me almost everything. My dad gave up his job, he stopped working-for me. Without that I definitely wouldn't be as successful." (Here's why you should follow Kim's lead and take up snowboarding.) We can't wait to see what this incredible, badass female does next.