Chloe Kim competes at the FIS Snowboard World Cup on Jan. 19, 2019 in Laax, Switzerland.
A second run wasn’t even necessary for Olympic champion snowboarder Chloe Kim in the finals of Saturday’s world cup halfpipe competition in Laax, Switzerland.
Kim had already clinched her second consecutive win in Laax with a score of 89.00 on her first run. No matter. Kim landed a front-side 1080 on her second run, a victory lap of sorts, and topped her score with 93.75 for her seventh career world cup win.
“I was nervous about the finals tonight,” Kim said on the Olympic Channel broadcast. “It turned out pretty well.”
Kim led three Americans who reached the podium in the women’s and men’s halfpipe finals. Also finishing on the women’s podium was 2018 Olympic teammate Arielle Gold, who won the bronze medal with a first-run score of 77.25.
Jake Pates, a 2018 Olympian and one of four Americans in the men’s finals, won the bronze medal with a first-run score of 85.50.
Kim, a two-time Youth Olympic Games gold medalist who also won in Laax last year, was on top of the leaderboard all week. She topped the field in qualifying on Wednesday with a score of 94.25 and placed first in the semifinals with a score of 91.75. Her first run of 89.00 in the finals was not equaled by the other five finalists in either of their two runs.
Maddie Mastro, a 2018 Olympian, finished fifth.
Also reaching the men’s finals were Chase Josey, Joshua Bowman and Taylor Gold.
This week’s world cup began a busy stretch for snowboarders. They are headed back to the U.S. next week for the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. The competition begins Thursday. That will be followed by the world championships the first week of February in Park City, Utah.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.