Chloe Kim wins Olympic halfpipe gold, USA's Arielle Gold takes bronze
The 17-year-old halfpipe phenom announced her arrival in emphatic fashion with an amazing showing
American snowboard phenom Chloe Kim secured her first Olympic gold on Monday night, easily winning the women's halfpipe event in Pyeongchang. The 17-year-old Kim wasted no time in announcing her arrival and setting the bar for the competition, crushing an incredible first run to close out the opening round. Kim found major air on the first hit, then went straight into a 1080, then hit a 900 before executing an inverted 540. She closed out with a 720 on the final hit.
The outstanding run earned Kim a 93.75, vaulting her into first place. She was ecstatic at the bottom of the hill upon finding out her total.
Nobody would top Kim's first run, guaranteeing her the gold as she headed into her third and final run. In that glory run, Kim managed to outdo herself and earn a score of 98.25 after drilling back-to-back 1080s on the pipe. It was an emphatic final stamp on her arrival to the Olympic stage.
After Kim's win on Sunday, the U.S. has three golds in three freestyle snowboarding events in Pyeongchang. Finishing behind her were China's Jiayu Liu and USA's Arielle Gold, earning silver and bronze, respectively. Three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark of the USA finished just outside the top three.
Kim, who hails from Torrance, California, entered Monday's event with a gigantic amount of hype and is seen as. At age 13, she qualified for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games just to prove that she could, but was too young to compete. Now 17, she becomes the youngest American woman to ever medal in snowboarding at the Olympics and most are expecting her to be the new face of United States' snowboarding very soon.
She certainly hasn't let that immense pressure get to her, as she more than lived up to the hype and delivered an extremely promising start to her Olympic career on Monday. Not only did she overcome the pressure, she also overcame her hunger pangs during the competition.
As an added bonus, Kim's very first gold medal comes in her father's homeland of South Korea. It was Kim's dad who first got her started in the sport and encouraged her to train from the age of 4.
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