PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Chloe Kim’s coronation is full.
The 17-year-old from Torrance, California, dominated the Olympic women’s halfpipe snowboarding last on Tuesday, hovering to a gold medal 4 years in the making.
Kim put up a rating of 93.75 on the primary of her three finals runs after which bettered it with a near-perfect 98.75 on her final run with the gold already properly in hand. With members of her household in the stands, together with her South Korean grandmother, Kim placed on a present that delivered on her appreciable pre-Olympic hype.
Liu Jiayu took silver with an 89.75 to develop into the primary Chinese snowboarder to medal on the Olympics.
American Arielle Gold, who contemplated retirement final summer season, edged teammate and three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark for bronze.
Kim’s mother and father have been born in South Korea and moved to the United States, placing their daughter in an attention-grabbing place heading into her first Olympics.
While she understands the urge to construct a story round her that turns her right into a connective tissue of kinds between the host nation and the one she calls house, it is one she has politely sidestepped. She views herself as only a child from Southern California who likes music, the mall, ice cream and, oh, by the way in which, placing down the form of gravity-escaping, physics difficult runs which have made her a dominant drive in her sport.
Kim would have made the Olympic group with ease 4 years in the past, solely to have the calendar get in the way in which. She was 13 on the time, too younger to make the journey to Russia. She entered the quadrennium between the video games with the form of expectations reserved for the Shaun Whites of the snowboarding world. She has exceeded each one.
Standing atop the hill at calm and good Phoenix Snow Park — a stark distinction to the windy mess that turned the women’s slopestyle last into an unsightly, borderline unsafe and crash-filled mess 24 hours earlier — Kim seemed down on the crowd that included her mother and father, three sisters, three aunts, two cousins and her grandmother Moon Jung and proceeded to waste little time whereas turning the ultimate into a worldwide coming-out celebration.
She drilled her opening set, throwing in a 1080 — principally, three twists excessive above the pipe — earlier than following it with a pair of flips (or “corks”). Kim celebrated on the finish, pumping her fists as “USA!” ”USA!” chants rained down. When her rating flashed, she clasped her arms atop her head and drank in the second.
Kim’s teammates made severe bids to give the Americans solely their fourth-ever Olympic podium sweep.
Gold, who dislocated her proper shoulder throughout coaching for the Sochi Olympics and did not compete then barely made the 12-woman last, dismissed a fall throughout her first run and stomped an 85.75 on her third run. Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion nonetheless going robust at age 34, could not fairly catch Gold with an 83.50.
Jiayu got here the closest to offering Kim with a severe menace. She drilled an 89.75 throughout her first set to take the lead, solely to watch Kim prime it throughout her first run moments later.
Jiayu then washed out on her final journey down the longest Olympic halfpipe for the reason that sport made its debut in 1998, turning Kim’s final run right into a victory lap. Rather than enjoying it secure, she went for it. Her No. 1 bib hovering into the South Korean sky, she placed on a show that left the remainder of the sector and the 1000’s packed close to the end roaring their approval.
Kim’s rating of 98.75 flirted with perfection. Fitting in a means as a result of Kim is as shut to it as anybody in her sport.
More AP Olympic protection: https://wintergames.ap.org