After Chloe Kim obliterated the competition within the Olympic snowboard ladies’s halfpipe, the Korean-American phenom strolled previous reporters scooping from a tiny container. Her reward: chocolate mousse.
Kim has change into often called a lot for her urge for food as her otherworldly expertise, because of a social-media savvy that’s frequent amongst different 17-year-olds however unusual amongst Olympic athletes.
During qualifying runs on Monday she tweeted “Could be down for some ice cream rn,” setting off a string of ice-cream memes and taste solutions in reply.
After her second run of the finals on Tuesday, Kim tweeted, “Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry.”
Kim’s breezy musings belie a fierce expertise that carried her to a dominant victory Tuesday amongst wildly cheering Americans and Koreans, together with her Korean-born dad and mom.
“I’m just here to inspire, you know?” she mentioned afterward.
While Red Gerard, who is 2 months youthful than Kim, came out of nowhere to claim the gold medal in snowboarding on Monday, her path to the rostrum was lengthy anticipated. She probably would have certified for Sochi in 2014 however, at 13 years previous, was barred for being too younger.
Still, her Olympic efficiency took her fame to a brand new stage.
She appears snug together with her rising function as a viral meals critic and was prepared with a solution about her most popular celebration meal.
“I really want like a burger and some fries,” she mentioned in a information convention. “Maybe some Hawaiian pizza.”
Kim’s first run of 93.75 was sufficient to win it, as the peak and mastery of her tips overpowered the sphere. Kim nailed a 1080, three revolutions in air, amongst different flawless tips. She gaped when she noticed her rating.
Then she one-upped herself. She bedazzled her third run with back-to-back 1080s. Final-run rating: 98.25 out of 100.
“I knew that if I went home with a gold medal, knowing that I could do better, I wasn’t going to be very satisfied,” Kim mentioned. “That third run was for me to just prove to myself that I did it.”
Liu Jiayu gained the silver with a high rating of 89.75 on her second run, changing into the primary snowboarder from China to win an Olympic medal. It was a well timed achievement: The 2022 Winter Olympics are headed to Beijing. American Arielle Gold gained bronze, edging out five-time Olympian Kelly Clark, additionally of the U.S.
For Kim, the tweets confirmed her playful aspect, however they have been additionally technique.
“I don’t know if you guys have seen my tweets, but I’ve just been on my phone a lot just looking at social media and just trying to distract myself,” she mentioned. “When I get drug-tested I’ll be doing the same thing cause I get nervous when I’m getting drug-tested because there’s a stranger watching me go to the bathroom.”
Kim’s father, Kim Jong-jin, stood behind the interview tent and smiled as his daughter spoke. On many mornings he had awoken early and pushed Chloe from their Orange County, Calif.,-area house almost six hours to Mammoth Mountain so she may snowboard. At one level he stop his job to journey together with her to competitions around the globe, one other journey for a person who emigrated to the U.S. in 1982.
“I couldn’t imagine any of this back then,” he mentioned. “I was working hard. How could I imagine this?”
Her mom, Boran Yun Kim, was close by, as was her grandmother.
Some Korean media retailers have lined Kim like an area. Two headlines on the homepage of Naver, a Korean web site that resembles Google, featured Kim, with one studying partly, “Brilliant performance, Chloe Kim.”
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency flashed a information alert when Kim gained: “Olympics: ‘Genius Snowboarder’ Chloe Kim, Youngest Ever Women’s Half Pipe Champion.”
Kim was born and raised in southern California however spent two years residing with an aunt in Switzerland. Before these Olympics, Kim mentioned she spent a while in Japan “just to go ride some ‘pow’” (powder). The time away from the halfpipe, she mentioned, had been a “soul cleanse.”
The 5-foot-2 athlete who soared above the 22-foot halfpipe appeared barely overwhelmed as she confronted a crush of reporters.
“I’m actually feeling a little anxious right now,” she mentioned. “I’m a little overwhelmed. But this is the best outcome I could ever ask for.”
—Timothy W. Martin contributed to this text.
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