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Chloe Kim Doesn’t Miss A Beat: Wins First Event Of Season For Sixth Straight Victory

By Craig Bohnert | Dec. 17, 2016, 11:30 a.m. (ET)

(L-R) Jiayu Liu of China, Chloe Kim and Xuetong Cai of China celebrate on the podium for women's halfpipe at the FIS Snowboard World Cup at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain on Dec. 16, 2016 in Copper Mountain, Colo.

Chloe Kim picked up right where she left off. The 16-year-old snowboarding phenom started her season with a halfpipe win at the U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Friday to notch her sixth straight victory.

Kim’s reign of dominance started at the grand prix in Park City, Utah, in February, when she became the first woman ever to earn a perfect score in the halfpipe. She followed that up with a superpipe win at X Games Aspen, gold medals in both halfpipe and slopestyle at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, and another superpipe win at X Games Oslo, which made her the youngest athlete in X Games history to win three straight golds.

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At Copper, Kim banked a strong score of 87.0 on her first run, which was second to China’s Xuetong Cai. Kim followed with a 95.50 on her second run, which propelled her into first and put pressure on the field. Cai tumbled on her second run, but teammate Jiayu Lu scored 91.00 to keep pace with Kim. The top three went for broke in their final run, but none were able to surpass Kim’s second run. Liu finished second, while Cai’s first-run score of 89.25 stood up for third.

“I’m just stoked that I was able to put some runs down in these snowy conditions,” Kim said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “It’s so hard to ignore the snow and ignore the fact that your snowboard is going to go a lot slower than it usually would.”

The win marked Kim’s third podium finish on the grand prix tour, which also serves as world cup stops, after her win in February and a second-place finish at Mammoth Mountain, California, in January.

On the men’s side, Chase Josey finished third for his second-career world cup podium. Josey took the early lead with a 92.25 on his first run, but was bumped to second by Iouri Podlatchikov of Switzerland, the reigning Olympic champion who scored a 96.00 his second trip down the pipe. Although Josey laid down a strong third run, the 93.75 he received wasn’t enough to overtake Podladtchikov, and both were surpassed when Podlatchikov’s teammate Pat Burgener laid down a 96.25 on the day’s final run, bumping Josey to third.

Finishing third each of the last two world cup season rankings, Josey’s previous podium came last season, when he placed second at Mammoth Mountain. The 20-year-old now has recorded three of his six top-10 world cup finishes at Copper.

Two-time Olympian Elena Hight and three-time Olympian Hannah Teter reached the women’s final and finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while 2010 Olympian Louie Vito and two-time Olympian Greg Bretz were fifth and ninth.

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Chloe Kim