Chloe Kim will compete next week for the first time since receiving an Olympic gold medal in February 2022. She also compared flying and flying over the half pipe and riding a bicycle.
“The worst anxiety comes from just going out there not knowing and hoping you can still do it,” he said. “But once you get in, you remember quickly.”
Starting next week, Kim plans to compete in three consecutive weekends: at the Laax Open in Switzerland, the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, and the Toyota US Grand Prix at his hometown of Mammoth Mountain, California. NBC Sports airs the Mammoth news in February.
Kim made her first successful pipe run since the Olympics at the October training camp in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Kim’s longtime coach, Rick Bower, said that Kim not only relearned all of her tricks, but in those sessions she became the first woman to reach 1440 in the halfpipe. They captured it on film, but it was not publicly recorded.
At the Laax Open, Bower said that Kim wanted to attempt 1260, which no woman has ever reached in competition. Kim participated in training until 2018 and tried unsuccessfully for the 2022 Olympics. If things go well in Laax, Kim could attempt 1440 in future events, Bower said.
“He just wants to continue his pursuit, and he’s made great strides, leaps and bounds,” Bower said Friday. “He looks great, he’s focused, he’s very consistent with his riding and he’s never missed a beat, which is surprising given that it’s been almost two years since his last action.”
He is unbeaten since coming back from his last 22-month layoff in 2021, with Laax also his return competition.
Kim, 23, knew before the 2022 Olympics that she wanted to take a year off after the Games.
“The Olympics are boring,” he said. “It’s tiring because that’s when you want to ride your best, and the amount of stress you put yourself in that position wears you down.”
He was riding his bike and working during his free time.
“I wasn’t just, like, drinking piña coladas on the beach and going on vacation,” he said. “I was in the gym every day. I was still working and teaching. So the break was really a snow break.”
They originally planned to stay in Saas-Fee for a month. Kim finished quickly because she did everything she wanted to do and “did well” in training, but she walked away with no major injuries.
When Kim returned from his first vacation in 2020, he found all his wisdom again in one camp in Saas-Fee.
“A lot of time in my life is teaching this, for it to end after a few years, it can be difficult,” Kim said on Tuesday.
When asked if there are any remaining goals in snowboarding that he has yet to achieve, Kim said that he is satisfied with his career so far.
“I’m satisfied, but the competitor in me still wants more, so it wasn’t just a stupid performance in Saas-Fee,” he said. “I was grinding and messing with new tricks, which is always fun. That’s where I get my adrenaline.”
During Kim’s tenure, South Korea’s Gaon Choi won the X Games last year at the age of 14, breaking Kim’s record as the most successful athlete at the event. Kim, who first met Choi in New Zealand years ago, wrote that she considers herself a “proud mother.”
Kim, whose parents came to the United States from South Korea, said: “It’s exciting to see another Korean girl coming. “He’s killing it. … It just makes me proud. I’m excited to see what they do, but I know the future of snowboarding is in good hands. “
The foreseeable future will also include Kim.
“Every time you take a break or take a break, you kind of go into it with different expectations, different goals,” he said. “So I think right now, it’s all about getting this and just improving my skills and having fun.”