Chloe Kim competes at the FIS Snowboard World Championships on Feb. 8, 2019 in Park City, Utah.
Chloe Kim confirmed to the world that she’s back on Saturday with her fifth halfpipe snowboarding title at the X Games Aspen.
One week after returning from a 22-month break to win the Laax Open in Switzerland, the 2018 Olympic gold medalist battled through an allergic reaction and a rib injury to hold off off fellow U.S. Olympian Maddie Mastro for the title in the fan-free venue at Buttermilk in Aspen, Colorado.
Kim now has six X Games wins, including one from the event in Oslo, putting her one shy of the record held by longtime Team USA star Kelly Clark, who has seven X Games halfpipe snowboarding gold medals, six of them from Aspen.
The 20-year-old Californian took the 2019-20 season off to focus on her freshman year at Princeton. Between her first competition back in Laax and this weekend in Aspen, she had an allergic reaction in her throat that sent her to the emergency room, then she fell on her first run Saturday, injuring her ribs, she said.
As a result Kim elected not to push things too far on her other runs, and didn’t attempt her signature back-to-back 1080s, which she is the only woman in the world able to do. However, she did complete a frontside 1080 tailgrab on her winning second run.
Earlier in the day Alex Hall landed his signature switch double cork 1800 Buick to take third place in the men’s big air skiing competition, finishing behind Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli and Antoine Adelisse of France. Hall, a 2018 Olympian, had four previous X Games medals but none in big air, which makes its Olympic debut in 2022 in Beijing. Hall plans to compete in slopestyle and knucklehuck on Sunday.
Two events scheduled for Saturday — men’s slopestyle snowboarding and women’s big air snowboarding — were postponed to Sunday due to weather conditions. Among the other highlights Sunday will be Shaun White’s return to the men’s halfpipe snowboarding competition, where he’s an eight-time champ.