Chloe Kim has been ready for the Winter Olympics for years — for four years, to be exact.
The wait is over. Bring on the ice cream and gold medals.
After missing out on the 2014 Sochi Olympics because she didn’t yet meet the minimum-age requirement, Kim won a historic gold in the women’s halfpipe at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics at age 17. The American teen sensation — who began snowboarding at age 4 in California — became the youngest halfpipe medalist in Olympics history on Tuesday in South Korea by racking up the two highest scores in the final.
In her first run at Phoenix Snow Park in the final, Kim landed a 1080 in a dazzling trip that earned her a 93.75 score that would prove enough to clinch gold. With the top spot on the podium already assured by the time of her third run, she then authored an even more unforgettable victory lap, landing back-to-back 1080s en route to a 98.25.
Kim was joined on the podium by Liu Jiayu of China (89.75) and Arielle Gold of the United States (85.75). Gold edged 34-year-old U.S. veteran Kelly Clark (83.50) for bronze on her final run.
With a large contingent of family members in the crowd, including her parents who were born in South Korea, Kim emphatically affirmed her status as the pre-games favorite in the halfpipe.
“My family has sacrificed so much for me, to help me accomplish this dream of mine, and get me to this point,” Kim told an NBC reporter after her win. “So being able to do it here, in their home country, is amazing.”
It takes a village to raise a gold medalist. Winning gold in South Korea is especially meaningful for Chloe Kim and her family. #BestOfUS #WinterOlympics https://t.co/D65Nuoyydu pic.twitter.com/lhHbz5m0BI— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 13, 2018
Less than a week before the opening ceremony of her first Olympics, the story Kim and her family was introduced to American sports fans by way of a commercial during the Super Bowl. The ad chronicled her father’s sacrifices to help her pursue her dream.
In 2016, Kim carried the U.S. flag and won two gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games in halfpipe and slopestyle. She is also the only athlete in X Games history to earn four gold medals before the age of 18. Of course, none of that success stopped her from being nervous ahead of her first qualifying run in South Korea:
I'm so nervous!!!!!!!— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 11, 2018
Luckily, she found what she needed in the Olympic Village: churros:
Oh and I also had 2 churros today and they were pretty bomb so if you ever get nervous go eat a churro— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 11, 2018
Fueled by her pre-event treat, Kim notched the two highest scores in qualifying (91.50 and 95.50). In between those runs, she seemed ready for another snack:
Could be down for some ice cream rn— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 12, 2018
Good news, Chloe.
.@chloekimsnow wanted ice cream, @davidchang delivered.— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 13, 2018
Chloe was surprised with a BOMB churro ice cream sandwich just hours after winning her first Olympic #gold medal. #BestOfUS pic.twitter.com/JYoua48M9E
Once again, Kim seemed to have food on her mind during the final, tweeting in between runs.
Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I'm getting hangry— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 13, 2018
Let this be a warning to anyone with designs on defeating Kim in the future: Make sure she finishes her breakfast. You definitely can’t beat her when she’s hangry.
I hate crying but I'll give myself a pass for this one. Thank you everyone for the love! Stoked to bring home the gold pic.twitter.com/vxApf1lxbI— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 13, 2018