Torrance's Chloe Kim Wins Olympic Gold Medal

TORRANCE (CNS) - Chloe Kim of Torrance won the Olympic gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding today, becoming the youngest Olympic halfpipe medalist at 17 years old.

Kim, competing last, received a score of 93.75 from the six-judge panel for her first run. (The high and low scores are not included in the average.) Standings are determined by a competitor's best run.

No other competitor topped 90 throughout the competition at Phoenix Snow Park in Bongpyeong-myeon, South Korea.

Kim was assured of the gold medal when the next-to-last competitor, Liu Jiayu of China, failed to top Kim's score from the first run.

On her third and final run, Kim received a score of 98.25 out of a possible 100.

``I knew I wouldn't be satisfied taking the gold and knowing that I hadn't put down my best," Kim said. ``That third run was for me -- to put down the best run I could do."

Liu won the silver medal with a score of 89.75 on her second run. Arielle Gold of Steamboat Springs, Colorado won the bronze medal with a score of 85.75 on her final run, knocking Kelly Clark of Mammoth Lakes into fourth. Clark is a five-time Olympian and the gold medalist in the event in 2002.

``Standing on the podium was insane -- just realizing how far I've come as a person and an athlete," Kim said.

For the second consecutive day, Kim tweeted about food.

``Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I'm getting hangry,'' Kim tweeted, using an adjective meaning bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger.

During qualifying Sunday (California time) Kim tweeted, ``Could be down for some ice cream rn,'' meaning right now.

Kim is a senior at La Palma Christian School in Orange County. She began snowboarding when she was 4 years old and competing for Team Mountain High at age 6. She spent third and fourth grades studying in Geneva and trained in Valais, Switzerland from when she was 8 to 10 years old.

She had qualified for the 2014 Olympics, but was too young to compete. She has won three X Games gold medals, along with a silver and a bronze.

``It's so rare that people can live up to the hype. Chloe Kim absolutely did that today,'' said NBC analyst Todd Richards, a snowboarder in the 1998 Olympics. ``It wasn't any shock to me -- we've seen it all season long. Chloe Kim is the future and it is here, inspiring women all over the world.''

Photo: Getty Images

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