On Saturday, 14-year-old snowboarder Chloe Kim made X Games history, becoming the youngest Winter X Games gold medalist ever. With a score of 92 on the halfpipe, Kim came out ahead of 31-year-old, four-time reigning halfpipe champion Kelly Clark and two-time Olympic medalist Torah Bright during her final run.
Kim is a member of the U.S. Snowboard team, and resides in California. She started snowboarding at just four-years-old, and started competing at age six. When she was eight, Kim moved to Geneva, Switzerland; after spending third and fourth grade abroad, Kim and her family returned home to California, where she resumed training, and competing.
Kim’s history-making performance almost didn’t happen. Earlier in the competition, she took on a brutal wipe out on the halfpipe, leaving her bloodied, bruised, and on the brink of pulling out of the competition.
“I thought about pulling out [after crashing], but then I was like, ‘I’m not going to wait another year to do this,'” she told ESPN. “So, I decided to go for it and pretend like that fall never happened. And, I am really glad I made that decision.”
Clark made a bit of history, herself, on Saturday. By winning the silver medal, Clark’s halfpipe medal count rose to 10, tying her with snowboarding legend Shaun White for the most in the event. The three-time Olympic medalist first competed in the X Games 15 years ago, before Chloe Kim was born.
“In years to come, I’ll be able to look at women’s snowboarding and know that not only is it in good hands, but it’s in the hands of someone I’m proud of,” Clark told the Associated Press of Kim.
“Chloe showed tremendous resiliency after a hard fall in practice, coming back with the focus and determination to put down a gold medal run and becoming the youngest gold medalist in X Games winter event history,” X Games Vice President Tim Reed said in a statement obtained by ABC. “Quite an accomplishment for a 14-year-old — and anyone for that matter.”
Kim may very well be the new face of U.S. Snowboarding, and we look forward to seeing what she does between now and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In the meantime, watch Kim crush it at the X Games here: