Chloe Kim dominates X Games and the Olympics
17-year-old snowboarder proves why she’s the best
Staying true to tradition, this year’s Winter X Games was held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen at the end of January.
Athletes competed in over 15 different categories, which included Snowboard Slopestyle, Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe, Snow BikeCross, and many more.
The highlight of this year’s Winter X Games—as it has been for the last few years—was arguably the Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe.
The SuperPipe is a large half-pipe structure, with walls that stand over 20-feet tall, and it’s made of pure snow. Athletes snowboard or ski down the half-pipe and display their best tricks. Snowboarders make three runs, and the score of the best run is considered their best overall score.
This year, Chloe Kim dominated in the category, as usual. At just 17 years old, Kim is the owner of five X Games medals in the SuperPipe category; three of them are gold. In 2014, Kim won a silver medal, becoming the youngest X Games medalist at the time. Last year, Kim won her third gold medal, becoming the youngest athlete to do so at the Winter X Games.
In her run at the SuperPipe this year, Kim scored a 93.33 after landing two perfect back-to-back 1080s—a complicated snowboarding spin trick. This is considered one of her signature moves, only because she became the first female snowboarder to land the trick at last year’s Grand Prix in Park City where she also scored a perfect score of 100 in her run. The only other snowboarder to achieve a perfect score at the Grand Prix? Shaun White. In plain English, Kim is really, really good at snowboarding.
This year’s X Games served as a preview for the much-anticipated Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea where many X Games medalists are now competing for an Olympic medal on behalf of the United States.
Snowboarder and Coloradan Red Gerard recorded the US’ first gold medal in PyeongChang, scoring an 87.16 in his third run in the Men’s Snowboarding Slopestyle. At the X Games, Gerard placed fourth in the same category. His win made him the youngest American to win a medal at the winter Olympics.
Just days after Gerard’s win, Kim won her first Olympic gold medal, scoring a 93.75 in her first run in the Women’s Halfpipe. In her final run, even after solidifying a gold medal, Kim—once again—landed two perfect back-to-back 1080s, scoring a 98.25.