Rejuvenated after taking time off between Olympics, Chloe Kim of the U.S. successfully defended her halfpipe gold Thursday at the 2022 Winter Games to become the first repeat and multi-title winner in women’s Olympic halfpipe history.
Kim’s first run opened with a huge method air, after which she nailed a frontside 1080 tailgrab, a cab 900, a switch backside 540 and a cab 1080. Emotional, Kim told the camera while awaiting her 94.00 score that she just had the worst practice of her life.
The 21-year-old from California tried to throw down a competition-first cab 1260 on her second and final runs but missed both times on the third hit.
Spain’s Queralt Castellet, coached by two-time Olympic silver medalist Danny Kaas, seized silver at the age of 32. The 2020 X Games winner hit back-to-back 900s to score a 90.25 on Run 2.
In qualifying, Kim put down a relatively low-gear run featuring a cab 900 and switch backside 540 to score an 87.75 and top the round. She fell on her second run attempting a switch backside 720. Her teammate and reigning world runner-up Maddie Mastro stunningly missed the cut in 13th.
Kim brought home 2018 gold by hitting back-to-back 1080s on a final-run victory lap, then took nearly two years off from competition over the interim quadrennium to heal an ankle injury and attend her freshman year at Princeton University.
She returned in 2021 with a renewed love for her sport and proceeded to win the Laax Open, a fifth X Games Aspen title, a second straight world title and the Aspen Grand Prix, then continued her streak this season at Dew Tour and Laax.
Kim has pushed the event’s progression ever since taking 2014 X Games silver at age 14, too young at the time for Sochi. Her two golds follow those won by German Nicola Thost at Nagano 1998; Americans Kelly Clark at Salt Lake 2002 and Hannah Teter at Torino 2006; Aussie Torah Bright at Vancouver 2010; and American Kaitlyn Farrington in Sochi 2014.
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