Teen Chloe Kim Takes X Games Gold
ASPEN, CO (Jan. 24. 2015)—The future is now in women’s superpipe. 14-year-old Chloe Kim (Carlsbad, CA) won gold in the Buttermilk halfpipe, becoming the youngest athlete to ever win X Games gold.
Bruised and battered after a hard wipeout in the halfpipe, Kim slid up to the biggest stage in snowboarding with pressure to perform. She crashed earlier in the competition, resulting in a bloody face and questions lingering in her head about continuing to compete. On her third and final run, she needed a score of 90.01 to overtake her mentor, Kelly Clark (West Dover, VT), for an incredible win.
Kim is halfpipe’s inarguable future. And her incredible display of courage and talent proved that she’s also the present. Kim stomped her third run down the pipe en route to winning gold.
“My face kind of hurts right now, but that was so fun,” said Kim immediately after her gold medal-clinching run. “I thought about pulling out [after crashing], but then I was like, ‘I’m not going to wait another year to do this.’ So, I decided to go for it and pretend like that fall never happened. And, I am really glad I made that decision.”
Kim’s wise choice to keep at it and drop in on her third run in the finals belied her young age. She notched an impressive score of 92 on a five-hit run that included a switch method, cab 900, switch backside 720, mctwist, and frontside 900.
Winning the silver medal in women’s snowboard superpipe was Clark. The 31-year-old icon earned her 13th X Games medal with the second place finish, but snapped her four-year win streak in Aspen. Australia’s Torah Bright won the bronze medal.
“I had a really fun night of snowboarding,” said Clark, who has openly been a huge proponent of Kim’s approach to riding.
Women’s halfpipe snowboarding has a bright future ahead of it with Kim as the youngest gold medalist in X Games history. Alongside two indisputable legends of snowboarding, Kim’s place atop the X Games superpipe podium illustrates the sport’s past, present, and future.
- Chloe Kim is now the youngest X Games gold medalist in history.
- Kim says the hardest part about being a 14-year-old professional snowboarder is getting her high school homework finished in between training, competing, and riding.
- Clark and Bright have been X Games mainstays for years. Collectively, the two iconic snowboarders have won 18 total X Games medals.
- Kim's win snapped a four-year win streak in Aspen for Clark.
Chloe Kim, women’s snowboard superpipe gold medalist
The first run I fell on that sixth hit. So, I was scared and I didn’t get another run to try that hit again. It got the best of me and I decided I didn’t want to deal with it again. I decided that I couldn’t be scared of a halfpipe because that fall was a little accident. And, so I went for it and it worked out.
Kelly Clark, women’s snowboard superpipe silver medalist
There are steps [to competing]. You spend time taking risk and eventually that risk becomes your normal. I took a step tonight. Trying cab-9s in a contest is how you become able to do them, and the more times you try them the more consistent and comfortable you become with them. I just couldn’t pull it in though.