LILLEHAMMER, Norway – Chloe Kim (La Palma, California) was selected as Team USA’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, which runs from Feb. 12-21 in Lillehammer, Norway, the United States Olympic Committee announced today. Kim is the first snowboarder to serve as flag bearer for Team USA at either the Olympic Winter Games or Youth Olympic Games.
Kim enters the Lillehammer 2016 Games after becoming the first woman to complete back-to-back 1080-degree rotations on Feb. 6 at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, a world cup event. The historic feat gave her a perfect score of 100, which is also a first for a female snowboarder. Though she was too young to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, her performance in the qualifiers would have been strong enough to earn her a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s a really cool moment to be selected as flag bearer for Team USA,” Kim said. “Snowboarding is my passion and being able to represent a sport I’m so passionate about is a great honor to have."
The 15-year-old halfpipe specialist left another indelible mark on her sport when she won a historic gold medal in women’s superpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games, Jan. 31 in Aspen, Colorado. With the win, she became the first Winter X Games athlete to win two gold medals before age 16, having secured her first win in 2015, when she topped three-time U.S. Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, among others. The rising star also became the youngest ever to medal at an X Games winter event in 2014, winning silver.
A tri-lingual, first-generation American, she will feel right at home when she sets her sights on the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in 2018 as South Korea is her parents' home country. But first, she will look to continue her success as she competes in her first international multi-sport event in Lillehammer, with the women’s halfpipe competition set for Sunday, Feb. 14.
Building on the successful debut of the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, the Lillehammer 2016 Games will feature 70 medal events across all 15 sport disciplines on the program for the PyeongChang 2018 Games. More than 1,100 athletes from nearly 70 nations are expected to participate in the 10-day competition for athletes between the ages of 15 and 18.
For more information of Team USA at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, visit TeamUSA.org/Lillehammer2016.
U.S. Youth Olympic Team Flag Bearer
2010 Hannah Carson, track and field (Opening)
2012 Jake Peterson, bobsled (Opening); Julia Mueller-Ristine, alpine skiing (Closing)
2014 Kendall Yount, taekwondo (Opening); Richelle Stephens, rugby (Closing)
2016 Chloe Kim, snowboarding (Opening)