The world has been on notice about Chloe Kim for a couple years. Since the then-13-year-old Kim medaled at the Winter X Games, the Korean-American has been on a tear, notching 18 podiums since that X Games in 2013-14. Chloe entered the 2015-16 season as a wily veteran looking to make her mark once again, and she emerged as one of the sport’s greats during the process. Here’s a look back at Chloe’s highlights..
As usual, the annual contest season’s starting point was Breckenridge for the Winter Dew Tour. Here, the world’s best shake off the rust of the off season and get to work. Unfortunately for the ladies of snowboard halfpipe, the elements were not kind, dropping a foot of fresh snow into the pipe the morning of. But undeterred, Chloe and the rest of the field dropped in, with the SoCal-resident ending up in 2nd after crashing on her final run. "It was pretty gnarly," said Kim of the weather, "but I stayed positive and just tried to do the best I possibly could given the conditions."
After the holiday break, Chloe and co. moved to her surrogate home Mammoth Mountain in California for the first US Grand Prix. Windy weather kept a lot of the contest in check, with no one wanting to risk injury before the following week’s X Games. Despite the wind and the caution, Kim managed another 2nd place showing.
It was in Aspen where Kim put on a show. After three other days of X Games action, the women’s superpipe contest would close the books on Winter X. In yet another contest with inclement weather, Chloe lapped the rest of the field in the amplitude department, showing that she was undeterred in the less-than-perfect weather en route to her second straight X Games gold. “I’m so happy with my riding today,” exclaimed Kim. “To put down the run I wanted with all of this new snow means a lot!”
Immediately from Aspen, Chloe picked up and headed to Park City, the site of the second US Grand Prix. It was here that Chloe not only dominated the rest of the field—-an accomplishment quickly becoming the norm—-but she went on to drop a historic run and earn a perfect 100 score. She was the first woman to ever throw back-to-back 1080s, issuing a statement to the rest of the field that she isn’t going to stop raising the bar.
"That run wasn’t 100 [laughs], But I’m really appreciative of the high score. I didn’t practice [the cab 1080] at all since I’ve been here and during the second run, [it] was the first time I did it this trip. I was really surprised when I brought it to my feet. I’m just so stoked I was able put that down and it’ll give me such a confidence boost going into X Games Oslo."
And give her confidence it did. The next stop for Kim was Norway, where she’d knock out a couple of contests over a two week period. The first was the Youth Olympic Games, where Chloe not only cruised to the top spot in the halfpipe, but also the slopestyle event. “I’ve always wanted to do slopestyle, I really do enjoy it,” Kim told TeamUsa.org. “Today I had so much fun. It’s just so hard nowadays because everyone is so good at slope and pipe, it’s hard to keep up with both.”
Next up in Norway was the inaugural Winter X Games Oslo. After having ridden the Oslo superpipe in the Youth Olympic Games, Kim practiced lightly to allow her body to rest… before she used her back-to-back 1080s and lofty amplitude to dominate the field once again.
The final stop on Chloe’s big adventure was Vail, the site of the historic Burton US Open of Snowboarding. The longest running event in snowboarding, the contest recently relocated to the world famous Colorado town. And in non-surprising fashion, Chloe once again put her competitors in the rear view, winning by a sizable margin, with both of her runs scoring high enough for first. “I just wanted to send it,” Kim said, before adding, “The great thing about landing your first run is that you have a chance to clean it up later.” She continued, “I didn’t know what to expect after hitting my face in qualifying and having to sit out a couple days earlier this week, but with conditions being so perfect it’s been a huge opportunity for us girls to put down some of our best runs ever.”