Chloe Kim poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic shoot on Sept. 12, 2021 in Irvine, Calif.
Chloe Kim went from snowboarding superstar to global superstar after she won the Olympic gold medal in halfpipe at the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018.
At 17, she was the youngest woman ever to win Olympic gold in snowboarding, and her big smile, bubbly personality and social media shares — hangry! churros! — helped vault her into an international spotlight the likes of which few people will ever know. There were late night talk shows, awards shows, lots of endorsements (including a Barbie doll in her likeness) and even a shout-out from actress Frances McDormand during her Oscar acceptance speech. Kim was named one of Time magazine’s 2018 most influential people.
Now Kim is 21 and ready to defend her gold medal in Beijing, and a lot has happened in the past four years.
The year after the Olympics was another one of outstanding achievements in snowboarding for Kim. During a practice session in the fall of 2018 she became the first woman to land a frontside double cork 1080, and she became the first one to attempt it in competition at the world championships in 2019. Although she just missed landing it, she locked down her first world title to go along with her fifth X Games title that year.
All the while, she was preparing to turn her attention to achievement in a much different setting: college.
Kim enrolled at Princeton, and told the New York Times, “I’d love to live just a normal life there, where maybe people don’t recognize me and get to know me not because of what I do, but just because of me.”
Kim recently admitted to the same outlet that the jump to superstardom following the Olympics had been a lot to take, and that a cruel text, mistakenly sent to her from a fellow top snowboarder, was particularly hurtful. A recent profile in Time detailed more of what she went through post-Olympics, and even much earlier, in even greater detail, from receiving racist comments on social media when she was just 13 to having difficulty with being recognized everywhere she went.