It was one of the most anticipated Olympic debuts. And Chloe Kim did not disappoint.
On an awesomely sunny day at Phoenix Snow Park, the massive halfpipe reflected a blinding white as we got ready for the Ladies Halfpipe qualifier. Twenty-four competitors were gunning to make the top twelve and the finals the next day, but there was no doubt about Kim qualifying.
Kim was third to ride in the first round, and off the bat established a score of 91.50. Liu Jiayu of China, who started off her halfpipe rides with significant altitude, came relatively close with an 87.75, but nobody else really challenged. With nobody else in the 90s, Kim decided to up the ante, and scored a 95.50 in her second run.
The child of Korean parents, Kim is popular both in the US (the second coming of Shaun White), and in South Korea. So the pressure of her first Olympic ride may weighed somewhat on her shoulders. But after her successful first ride, she sent out a tweet.
“Could be down for some ice cream rn”
The kid from California had to be kidding because it was freezing cold. But one thing you could say – she was relaxed.
Who’s going to beat her?
The only person who could do that is Chloe Kim.
NOTE: As it turned out, Kim’s third ride in the finals topped her first-place score, so Chloe Kim indeed bested herself, and claimed the much-anticipated gold medal in the Ladies Halfpipe.