At the 2015 X Games Aspen, Chloe Kim made history by becoming the youngest Winter X Games medalist ever at just 14 in women’s snowboard superpipe. A year later, she took it a step further, becoming the first Winter X Games athlete to win two gold medals before the age of 16.
Pale pink hair peeking out from under her helmet, Kim’s first run was close to flawless before she unexpectedly fell on the last hit to earn a score of 63.00. She corrected that mistake on her second run, soaring up to 14 feet above the pipe for a huge 95.00 score. The last rider to drop in for the third run, Kim had to sweat out her victory until the last second. But no other rider came close, with Kim taking gold by a full nine points over fellow American Arielle Gold, scoring 86.00. China’s Cai Xuetong took bronze with 80.33.
“It was pretty crazy, but I put down the run I really wanted to, and I’m just so happy about my riding,” Kim said. “I was so stoked I was able to put one down with all this snow. I’m just so excited. I’m speechless.”
Kim made her debut at X Games Aspen in 2014, earning silver as a 13-year-old, and was the overall champion of the 2013-14 World Snowboard Tour. To take gold in Aspen in 2015, Kim beat out five-time reigning champ Kelly Clark. Also in 2015, Kim was named one of Time Magazine’s 30 Most Influential Teens and Snowboarder Magazine’s Rookie of the Year, and finished second at the Burton U.S. Open.
For Gold, only 19 years old herself, Sunday's performance marked her third X Games medal in only five appearances. She won bronze medals in 2013 in Aspen and Tignes, France, and finished fourth in Aspen the next two years. At 15 years old, Gold won two silver medals at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, in halfpipe and slopestyle. She then made the 2014 Olympic team as the youngest of the four U.S. women's halfpipe competitors, but separated her right shoulder during a training run in Sochi, Russia, and was unable to compete.
Next month, Kim will join Gold as a Youth Olympian when she competes at the second edition of the Games in Lillehammer, Norway. With another X Games win on her resume, Kim has officially put the world on notice.
For more on the Winter Youth Olympic Games, visit TeamUSA.org/Lillehammer2016.