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Chloe Kim Cruises Past Field To Defend World Halfpipe Title

March 13, 2021, 7:18 p.m. (ET)

Chloe Kim stands on the podium after winning the women's snowboard halfpipe at the FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championship on March 13, 2021 in Aspen, Colo.


The last time Chloe Kim competed at the world championships she was on top of the world.

Two years later, nothing has changed.

The reigning Olympic halfpipe champion successfully defended her title at the FIS Snowboard World Championships on Saturday in Aspen, Colorado, and it wasn’t even close. 

The 20-year-old scored a 90 on her first run to take control of first place by 5.5 points, and that run alone would have won it. But Kim wasn’t finished. She added in a 1080 to her second run that started with an indy backside 360 and went into a switch method launched high out of the pipe. 

She landed the 1080 then a frontside 900 followed by an inverted 540 and scored a 93.75. As has been the case so many times before, her final run was a victory lap.

You’d never know that Kim’s break from competition was even longer than most of her fellow athletes. She went 22 months between contests, during which time she started her college career at Princeton, before returning in January for a world cup event in Switzerland. She won that, then won her fifth X Games halfpipe title in Aspen at the end of January. 

Joining Kim on the podium was teammate and fellow Olympian Maddie Mastro, 21, who won the silver medal with a stylish and difficult run that she nailed on the third try. Although she landed her signature trick — the crippler — on her second run, she cleaned it up on the third following back-to-back 720s. The execution was on point, and she scored an 89 to jump into podium position. 

Spain’s Queralt Castellet also earned her podium spot on her final run, taking the bronze medal with a score of 87.50. 

On the men’s side, 2018 Olympian Chase Josey was the highest-scoring U.S. athlete out of the three in the 10-man final with a fifth-place finish and a score of 81. Chase Blackwell was on his heels with a score of 80.50 for sixth place and Taylor Gold finished in eighth place with a score of 78.25.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Chloe Kim