U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim advanced in the halfpipe qualifying Wednesday at the Beijing Winter Olympics and explained later how she kept jitters at bay. (Watch the interview and her highlights below.)
Enormous expectations followed Kim into her 2022 Games debut. She won the gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2018 Olympics and became one of the most celebrated winter athletes.
She’s also the first snowboarder to own titles in the World Championships, X Games and Youth Olympics, in addition to the Olympics.
So, if Kim was feeling the pressure, she didn’t show it much. Conceding nerves on her first run despite a clean ride, she finished atop the standings to easily advance. She shrugged off a fall on her second run, saying she was trying a new maneuver.
She stayed calm, explaining how she learned from “feeling overwhelmed” in Pyeonchang as a 17-year-old.
“I feel like I’m in such a better place now mentally and physically as well,” she told NBC after her two attempts. “Just being so grateful to be able to be out there and represent the U.S., just to honored to be here and ... just enjoying the moment. I don’t know how many more Games I’m gonna do, so ... I’m just embracing the experience as much as possible.”
And if that doesn’t work, there’s always churros.