Even if you’re not closely following the PyeongChang Olympics, there’s one name you should know about: Chloe Kim. The 17-year-old California-local and USA athlete just earned her first Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboard halfpipe on Tuesday morning in South Korea.
Kim’s first run was awarded an incredible 93.75 (snowboarding is scored out of 100), which gave her a huge lead over the rest of the competitors. Regardless, she decided to do two more runs to prove she could perform even better—and then landed a nearly perfect score on her final go: 98.25. “As an athlete, as a snowboarder, I want to do the best I can,” the new Olympic champion told TODAY after taking out the top spot. “And even though I knew I was in gold, I didn’t want to go home knowing that I could have done better at the Olympics.”
Watch Kim’s incredible gold medal run below:
Kim’s been one-to-watch on the snowboarding circuit for a number of years but was too young to compete at the last Olympics four years ago in Sochi, Russia. She told NBC Olympics last year that, with hindsight, she can see the decision was actually for the best: “Now that I think about it, I’m really glad I wasn’t able to go. I don’t think I would’ve been able to take it, to handle the pressure. Emotionally I don’t think I was ready,” she admitted.
This year, however, it was a different story, with a cool and collected Kim tweeting about being hangry during the snowboarding final, literally right in between her gold medal-winning runs. A few days ago, she told her followers that churros are the cure to nerves, and throughout the qualifying round, she jumped on Twitter to talk about ice cream. “Could be down for some ice cream rn,” she admitted. Olympic athletes, they’re just like us.
Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry
— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 13, 2018
Trying to think of a caption is actually impossible but all I can say is thank you to everyone who’s been there for me since the beginning. I am so grateful to be surrounded by people I love with all my heart and so thankful for my family and their never ending love and support. Glad I could bring home the Gold!! @gettysport