Chloe Kim, Queralt Castellet’s main obstacle to gold
American snowboarder Chloe Kim offers a press conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on February 8, 2018
Chloe Kim, who will compete with the American flag and enjoy the support of the public in Pyeongchang for her South Korean origins, is the big favorite to take the gold in the halfpipe test of snowboard, in which she will compete with the Spanish Queralt Castellet.
At 17, she is presented as the female version of Shaun White, the undisputed king of snowboarding, with a palmarés as vertiginous as the figures he makes in the air.
But in South Korea, Kim is more than just the best snowboarder on the planet, as was evident in the warm welcome he experienced during the World Cup in February 2017.
“It was crazy, like I was Kim Kardashian,” recalls Kim, born in California but of South Korean parents. “There were photographers everywhere, I had never seen so many, I was afraid,” he confesses smiling.
During their first press conference in Pyeongchang, journalists did not stop asking him about his relationship with the host country of the Games.
“My parents are very proud of Korea and there are a lot of Koreans in Los Angeles, so I’m not totally away from this culture,” he explained.
Although by his age he has not yet won a world title or an Olympic medal, he has four wins in the Winter X Games, the reference competition of extreme winter sports.
In addition, it is the only one to have received a score of 100 points and to have made two ‘1080’ (jump with a rotation of three full laps).
– Objective Harvard or Princeton –
Kim, climbed a board for the first time at four years, to “allow (his) father not to ski alone and convince (his) mother to come.”
With 6 years of dispute and wins his first competitions, he draws the attention of the leaders of the US federation and convinces his parents, Jong-jin and Boran-yun, who arrived in the United States in 1982, that he can dedicate himself to snowboarding.
He achieves results to qualify for the Sochi Games in 2014, but when he was only 13 years old, his participation was denied.
“Participating in my first Olympic Games in the country my parents come from is quite incredible,” he congratulated on Thursday.
If he achieves Olympic gold, Kim, who earns considerable income from his sponsors, will enter a new dimension in the United States, where his notoriety will explode.
But the young woman seems to have her head on her shoulders and the only concession to the rebellious style characteristic of snowboarders are the blue or gray wicks she usually wears on her hair.
She continues studying and maintains the illusion of entering the prestigious universities of Princeton or Harvard: “I only have one subject left to finish, and it is easy, but it will be after the Games”, smiles confident in its possibilities.