14 Things to Know About Chloe Kim, Team USA's History-Making Snowboarder

Chloe Kim should really have three Winter Olympics under her belt by now, but the 21-year-old snowboarding phenomenon was too young to head to Sochi for the 2014 Games—even though she qualified on the half-pipe. But when she was just 17-years-old, Chloe not only made her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, but she also made history by becoming the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding ever. Casual! She was truly the teen queen of the snowboarding scene. Now, in her early-20s and just ahead of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, here’s what you need to know about Chloe:

1. She’s from Southern California. This snow-conquering young woman comes from one of the sunniest parts of the world, go figure. She was born in Long Beach and grew up in Torrance (though her parents Jong and Boran are both originally from South Korea — and Chloe was excited to represent both the U.S. and South Korea at the 2018 Games).

2. And she started snowboarding “accidentally.” Or as she shared in a Vogue interview, “My father didn’t want to ski alone, so he took me up to the mountains in order to basically bribe my mom to come with him.” In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Chloe said she didn’t even like the sport at first. “It was cold out,” she explained.

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3. But she loves it now, obviously. “I’m here to have fun,” Chloe said to People. It’s purely having fun and pushing my own limits. I have fun pushing myself. I enjoy that. I think that’s why a lot of people in the action sports industry do it. It’s because that adrenaline rush comes with doing something you’ve never done before with your body. And it’s really exciting.”

4. Chloe spent her childhood skiing and snowboarding at Mammoth Lakes, a nearly six-hour drive away from the Kim family home. As she recounts, “My dad would load me into the car under a pile of blankets in the middle of the night so I could sleep the whole way and be on the mountain when it opened.” These days though, she trains in Park City, Utah.

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5. She won her first Winter X Games medal when she was 13-years-old. While she placed silver in her first run at the event in 2014, she’s since earned three golds, becoming (at the time) the only person under 16 to achieve the feat.

6. She also has two gold medals from the first Olympics she was allowed to attend — the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. For both halfpipe and slopestyle.

7. In 2019, Chloe broke her right ankle and took 22 months off from her sport. In that time, she didn’t touch a snowboard at all. In the meantime, she started college, and returned to the slopes in January 2021, according to the New York Times.

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8. She can speak Korean and French, having lived in Switzerland with her aunt for two years. Helpful on the international — and Olympic — circuit.

9. But when she’s not on the slopes, Chloe likes to practice a different sport: “I’m much more of a city girl. I like the mall. I like shopping.” Though she, like any good Southern Californian, also hits up the water to surf and swim, and similar to her Olympic sport of choice, skateboards.

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10. She currently lives in west Los Angeles with her boyfriend, skateboarder Evan Berle. The pair met in 2019 through shared friends. They recently celebrated an anniversary and walked the red carpet together back at the 2021 Espy Awards.

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11. Chloe loves dogs. And she posts pics with critters on her Instagram regularly — particularly, of Reese, her Australian sheepdog she shares with Evan. (Who of course has her own account.)

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12. And she has plans to become a veterinarian after hanging up her snowboard. “Snowboarding is a huge part of my life, but I also feel like it’s important to have a plan B or a back-up plan for after my career because I can’t snowboard for my whole life competitively,” Chloe told NBC. Since, Chloe started college at Princeton in 2019 after deferring enrollment for a year.

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“I just wanted a normal college experience,” said Chloe to People. “I don’t want to be Chloe Kim. I just want to be Chloe, the student, your peer who does the same classes. But honestly, that only lasted for a couple of months. And then it was good to go.” Much like other students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Chloe wrapped up her first year from home in May 2020. She’s been on a leave of absence now from the university as she prepares for the upcoming Games.

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