There’s no stopping Chloe Kim.
Coming into Friday’s Dew Tour stop at Breckenridge, Colorado, the 17-year-old Kim needed only to be the top American on the women’s halfpipe snowboarding podium in order to secure a spot on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team.
For the most dominant woman in the sport the past two years, it wasn’t a big ask.
Kim followed up last weekend’s win in the first Olympic qualifier at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, with another victory, and the teenager made the inevitable official.
Kim is going to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
First after Thursday’s qualifying, Kim led a strong U.S. field that included U.S. teammates Maddie Mastro and Kelly Clark in the final. Kim scored a 93.00 on her first run to secure gold. Clark finished second, shaking off a scary crash during her second run to score 90.00 during her third run. Arielle Gold, a 2014 Olympian, rounded out the podium with a score of 87.00.
With podium finishes in several qualifiers four years ago, Kim could have qualified for the Olympics in 2014 and probably would have been in medal contention, but at just 13 years old she did not reach the minimum age requirement.
She’s only grown more impressive in the years since, winning gold medals in halfpipe and slopestyle at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, becoming the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s in competition in February 2016 and going on a streak that would see her go more than a year without losing a competition.
Last season she missed the podium at the PyeongChang test event, coming in fourth, but Kim — who focuses on halfpipe — also racked up a number of impressive wins and finished the season on top of the FIS World Cup rankings, a position she maintains so far this season.