Chloe Kim did it once more, hovering to a different Olympic gold medal within the halfpipe.
Simply as she did 4 years in the past, she opened the competitors on Thursday by touchdown a rating that nobody may prime. Kim knew it, too. When she received to the underside of her first run, she put her fingers to her head, fell on her knees in pleasure and laughed, as if she had shocked even herself.
The efficiency got here after an uncharacteristically unhealthy warm-up, through which Kim struggled to land her major routine. Her coaches mentioned she was combating off nerves. Kim mentioned she had arrived to the ultimate “in a bizarre head area.”
Her outburst on the backside was a mixture of pleasure and reduction.
“I used to be like, I don’t wish to really feel all this strain of not having the ability to land my first security run,” she mentioned. “So I simply was overflowing with emotion after I was in a position to land it on the primary go.”
Kim was awarded with an untouchable rating of 94. Queralt Castellet, of Spain, earned the silver medal, and Sena Tomita, of Japan, gained bronze, neither significantly threatening Kim’s efficiency.
Kim tried to ratchet the diploma of problem in her ultimate two runs, the way in which she had 4 years in the past. She fell each occasions. It didn’t matter. The competition was over practically as rapidly because it had began.
“To not low cost any of those riders, however she has a bag of tips that not anybody else does,” Kim’s longtime coach, Rick Bower, mentioned. “And he or she showcased that in her first run.”The victory felt much less like a coronation for Kim, now 21, however a private comeback of kinds. The lingering query as she scooted away was what occurs subsequent.
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4 years in the past, Kim arrived to the 2018 Olympics and landed into the embrace of a heat South Korean crowd, a loving household and on the spot stardom. She was 17. All of it appeared really easy.
The 2022 Olympic halfpipe ultimate had none of that, besides within the pipe itself. There was no crowd due to the pandemic. Her household didn’t attend. And Kim is now 21.
This can be a totally different time and a distinct Kim.
The attention from the last Olympic victory, and some of the nastiness, even inside snowboarding circles, practically chased her from the game. She didn’t strap on a snowboard for 22 months, went to school at Princeton and purchased a home. She grew up into somebody extra sophisticated than America’s snowboarding sweetheart.
She tossed herself again into the Olympic cycle, a bit reluctantly. She was nonetheless the very best on this planet, with little dispute. Kim had not competed a lot since returning to the circuit a yr in the past, which could have given her competitors some hope that she was rusty, however she had gained all the things she entered.
Kim has grown up since she was at 17 — a bit extra guarded, a bit extra impartial, a bit extra leery of the stardom that comes with each smile and near-perfect run. She mentioned she was extra ready for the push of consideration this time.
“Now that I’ve grown up a bit of extra and I perceive boundaries, and I’ve an incredible therapist, I believe it’ll make the journey much more doable for me,” she mentioned.
She contemplated retirement 4 years in the past. Bower admitted that it isn’t out of the realm of potentialities that Kim slides away from snowboard competitions for good.
She turned skilled at age 13, and spent her teenage years within the cloistered world of snowboarding. It was all too confining for Kim, who likes to fly free, who has a reluctant relationship with fame and different individuals’s expectations.
That’s the reason she spent a lot of the time since successful her first gold medal making an attempt to grow to be one thing aside from a snowboarder.
For yet another day, at the very least, she proved that no person can do it higher within the halfpipe. She was in cost, and nobody else may get shut.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/09/sports activities/olympics/chloe-kim-gold-usa.html Chloe Kim Wins 2nd Straight Gold in Halfpipe