Things You Don't Know About Chloe Kim

Prepare to hear the name Chloe Kim a lot more often. The California native made headlines after winning gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, but, despite the media coverage, there's still a lot most people don't know about the young athlete. Read on to learn all about the SoCal snowboarding icon.

Early beginnings

While most kids were learning their ABC's, Chloe was well on her way to hitting the halfpipe. At just 4 years old, she started snowboarding, though neither she nor her parents had ever intended to make the sport her career. In fact, her father, Jong Jin Kim, had only taken Chloe to the slopes as a way to get her mother into going snowboarding with him.

"He bought me a $40 snowboard on eBay and was like, 'Let's go snowboarding!'" Chloe told Cosmopolitan magazine in February 2018. "[Not] because he wanted me to be a professional or anything — he was actually trying to bribe my mom into coming with him! I was the bait. He told my mom, 'Your daughter is doing something dangerous, so you'd be a bad mom not to come.'"

Sounds kind of harsh, but Jong Jin's methods were effective — in a way. While his wife may not have strapped on a snowboard, Jong Jin found a training partner in his young daughter.

Daddy-daughter bonding

Before ever dreaming about making it to the Olympics, Chloe and her father simply snowboarded for fun, learning the sport together. But while they both started practicing around the same time, Chloe appeared to acclimate to the winter activity more quickly than her dear old dad. When asked how long it took for Chloe to become better at snowboarding than him, Jong Jin admitted to NBC News that it happened "right away." He added, "When she was five, she was already better than me."

And Chloe couldn't help but agree. "Yeah, he was still falling off the chair life when I was cruisin' by him," she revealed.

Snow days

If a person wants to up their snowboarding game, Switzerland might be one of the best places to visit. Luckily for Chloe, she had the chance to live in the snowy country for two years when she was a child. As USA Today noted, Chloe moved to Switzerland to live with an aunt when she was in third and fourth grade. There, she learned how to speak French, going snowboarding with her dad when he'd come visit her. Together, she and Jong Jin would wake up at 4 a.m., hop on two trains, and then travel via a gondola lift to arrive at France's Avoriaz mountain, where they'd spend the day on the halfpipe.

Man, and we thought getting up for an 8 a.m. college class was hard.

Home away from home

Chloe's journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics is especially rewarding, as the athlete's family is actually from the country where the international event was being held. That's right — Chloe's relatives are from South Korea. Though Chloe herself is American, her parents immigrated to the United States from South Korea in the 1980s (via NBC News).

"When I was young, I heard that America is the land of opportunity. That's why I came here," Jong Jin said in a Samsung Mobile video. "It made me dream of a big future."

And while Chloe may not be directly from South Korea, she's obviously proud of her roots. "I can represent my family's country and, like, the U.S. as well..." Chloe, who speaks fluent Korean, told NBC News ahead of the Olympic games.

Going for the gold

Though she was only 17 years old, Chloe wowed judges at the 2018 Winter Olympics with her daredevil tricks on the halfpipe — and she set some new records while she was at it! As the Los Angeles Times reported, Chloe became the first woman ever to make consecutive 1080s, otherwise known as two triple rotations, at the Olympics. And, as a result of her advanced skills, Chloe snagged a near-perfect score and won the coveted gold medal, making her the youngest female gold medalist in snowboarding.

But she didn't just take first place in the halfpipe competition. Chloe also beat out her opponent, China's Liu Jiayu, by nearly 10 points. Talk about making your mark.

No stranger to making history

Ahead of her Olympian efforts, Chloe made a name for herself in the snowboarding world — and in the history books. In February 2016, Chloe competed in the Snowboarding Grand Prix in Park City, Utah. There, she managed to land two consecutive 1080s, the same move she'd bust out at the Olympics games two years later (via Transworld Snowboarding). And, just like at the 2018 Olympics, the feat garnered much attention, as it was the first time a woman had succeeded in performing the move.

As noted by CBS Sports, Chloe also became the first snowboarder in X Games history to snag three medals before she turned 16 years old. Yeah, we'd say that Chloe's definitely one athlete to keep an eye on.

Proving herself

Though 2018 was the first year she made it to the Olympics, Chloe has qualified to compete once before. Well, kind of. She'd previously proved herself worthy to the USA team for the 2014 Winter Games and was qualified to compete, talent-wise (via People). However, her young age got in the way of her actually being able to join the professional athletes, as she was just 13 years old at the time.

According to CBS Sports, Chloe wasn't really expecting to ever head to Sochi. She'd simple aimed to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics "just to prove she could."

Talent, hard work, and fierce determination? Could Chloe be anymore of a role model?

Hungry for more

While Chloe's everyday life may appear to be a far cry from most people's, there's nothing uppity about this girl. Perhaps the most significant trait tying her down to earth is her near-constant hunger, which she's always tweeting about. "Could be down for some ice cream [right now]," she posted online, moments before heading to her Olympic competition that day.

But it's not only frozen treats that have Chloe going gaga. She's also apparently a major fan of churros, crediting them for keeping her calm during the Olympics. "Oh and I also had 2 churros today and they were pretty bomb," she tweeted out on Feb. 12, "so if you ever get nervous go eat a churro."

Sound advice, Chloe!

Her No. 1 fan

Given her popularity in the snowboarding community, Chloe surely has thousands of fans — millions now, since she's competed in front of the world at the Olympics. But she's had the same No. 1 fan since her earliest days hitting the slopes: her dad, Jong Jin. Having given up his job to help his daughter succeed, Jong Jin has been there for Chloe every step of the way. And, as could be expected, he likely gets just as nervous as Chloe does when it comes time for her to compete.

"I was very stressed because everyone was saying Chloe was going to win gold but no one knows the result — that I cannot control," Jong Jin explained to CNN Sport at the 2018 Olympics. "Now I'm happy, all the stress is gone. I'm the dad of an Olympic gold medalist, not many people have this kind of feeling."

Now, that's a proud dad.

Teenage dream

Despite her various medals and history-making accomplishments, Chloe is still just a typical teenage girl. She enjoys going for walks with her dog, Reese, hitting the mall, and playing with her hair color, dying her strands everything from a cool teal to a sweet pink and everything in between (via Vogue).

She even has big dreams for the future — ones that, surprisingly, have nothing to do with snowboarding. Like most young adults these days, Chloe has her sights set on college. But rather than a public state university, she's aiming for Harvard (via the Daily Mail).

"Now she's going to go to college. She's a student, and she's got to go study hard," Chloe's dad revealed after his daughter won first place at the Olympics (via Bleacher Report). "Snowboarding is what you do when you're young. Who knows how much longer she's going to keep snowboarding? I just want her to study hard. She's got to go have a good experience in college."

If her focus for school is anything like her drive for snowboarding, we'd say Chloe has a bright future ahead of her.