Winter Olympics: Kim makes history despite 'worst practice ever'

By Sports Desk February 10, 2022 1073

Chloe Kim made history by becoming the first woman to win two Winter Olympics gold medals in the snowboard halfpipe event despite what she described as "the worst practice ever".

The American managed an incredible score of 94.00 on her opening run which ultimately proved enough to claim gold nearly four points clear of Spaniard Queralt Castellet (90.25), who claimed the silver, and nearly six ahead of Japan's Sena Tomita (88.25), who earned the bronze.

The 2018 gold-medallist looked to further etch her name into the history books in her second and third runs by attempting 1260s – a trick that has never been landed at a women's halfpipe event – but was unable to make it stick.

Kim, who became the youngest woman to win an Olympic gold medal in snowboarding four years ago at the age of 17, explained that her first-run performance surprised her after a difficult practice session and that her high score granted her the freedom to try the 1260s.

"I was so proud of myself," Kim said. "I had the worst practice ever. I probably landed my run twice when I'm used to landing it eight times, normally, and so that puts you in a weird headspace. It felt so inconsistent.

"I didn't want to feel all that pressure of having to land my first safety run [in competition]. I overflowed with emotion when I was able to land it on the first go, and it opened up a lot of opportunity for me to go try something new.

"[Progression] is so important and after I put down the first run, I got two attempts at landing the cab 1260. I'm super proud of myself for going out and trying to do it.

"I'm looking forward to being able to land it at the next one. Now I'm so eager to see my family, my boyfriend, my dog. Then I will feel all the feelings and be proud of myself."

Kim spent 19 months away from snowboarding in 2019-20 but returned to the sport last year, claiming a sixth X-Games crown and a second World Championship gold.

The 21-year-old revealed that she was feeling the positive impact of sports therapy and felt in a stronger mental state for this year's Games and beyond.

"I am more prepared this time," Kim continued. "Luckily, it was a learning curve since the last time.

"Now that I've grown up a little more and I understand boundaries and I have an amazing therapist, so I think it will make the journey a lot more doable."

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Last modified on Thursday, 10 February 2022 08:01
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