After concerns about the conditions of the course during the 2018 Winter Olympics snowboard slopestyle event — which resulted in 41 of 50 boarders crashing or bailing out — things look a bit better for the much anticipated, snowboard halfpipe event. Team USA is looking to put their mark on yet another motocross-inspired event, and 17-year-old Chloe Kim is up for the challenge.
After missing out on the 2014 Sochi Winter Games due to being too young to meet the age requirement — despite qualifying to compete — Kim is finally ready for her medal-moment. She already showed dominance during the qualifiers, claiming a 95.50 and 91.50 in her two runs, scores that were good enough to lead the field heading into the finals. (She was also, apparently, in the mood for some ice cream in-between heats. I mean, same.)
Kim has already starting etching her name in the history books of snowboarding — being the first athlete to claim four X Games gold medals before age 18 — and is ready to finally add some Olympic hardware.
“Competing in my first Olympic Games in the country where my parents came from is pretty insane. It should be a fun ride,” Kim said, ahead of the 2018 Winter Games.
As with most other freeski and freestyle snowboarding Olympic events, the United States delegation is heavily favored to medal, and the halfpipe is the next event up. Team USA features four female competitors for the halfpipe event, including Kim, and teammates Kelly Clark, Arielle Gold, and Maddie Mastro.
Mastro is the next likely medalist of the group, having finished in the top five of the both qualifying runs, scoring 83.75 and 76.00, respectively. Heading into the final heat, Mastro takes the No. 4 spot and could easily wind up with a spot on the podium with at least one impressive run among the three final heats. She’s also the elder of the two 17-year olds competing for the United States women contingent, with just two months on Kim.
Kelly wasn’t quite as impressive, finishing her first qualifying run with only a score of 41, but followed it up with a 63.25 score, good enough for No. 11 and a spot in the final. Similarly, Gold’s first run was worth an abysmal 17.50, but she quickly rebounded, and finished her second run with a score of 62.75, good for No. 12 and a full sweep of American women competing for a medal.
How to watch
Event: Women’s snowboard halfpipe
Date: Monday, Feb. 12
Time: 8 p.m. ET