Chloe Kim dominates halfpipe World Championships with stellar first run
February 8, 2019
The women's snowboard halfpipe World Championship was over after the first run.
U.S. sensation Chloe Kim calmly rode into the Eagle Superpipe on Friday, connecting an Indy, a front 1080, a cab 900, and a switch back 300 twist for a score of 93.5 – nearly 10 points above the best score her closest competitor could muster.
"It feels really good," Kim said. "I was really stoked on the way I was able to ride today. I think that's the best feeling of all."
Her dominance, though impressive, wasn't out of the ordinary for Kim.
The 18-year-old came into the competition as the reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, and she also has five X Games golds to her name, including one from the most recent event in Aspen. Friday’s performance earned her one of the few major medals that she didn't already own, though she doesn't measure her success by her treasure trove.
"I always want to push myself and do different runs, land different tricks," she said. "As long as I get to do that, I'm pretty stoked. I think it's just about pushing myself and progressing the sport."
She got a chance to do that, too.
Kim was the last rider to go in the finals, and already possessing the winning score, she was able to use her third and final run to attempt something no women’s snowboarder has ever done in competition: a double cork 1080.
She didn't land it, but it put the move on the sport's to-do list.
Snowboard Halfpipe Ladies' Finals
1. Chloe Kim, United States – 93.50
2. Cai Xuetong, P.R. China – 84.00
3. Maddie Mastro, United States – 82.00
4. Queralt Castellet, Spain – 81.00
5. Arielle Gold, United States – 79.00
6. Verena Rohrer, Switzerland – 75.00
7. Kurimi Imai, Japan – 74.50
8. Elizabeth Hosking, Canada – 60.25
"I was waiting for the perfect contest to do it at," she said. "I'm pretty stoked on how it went. It's always nice to walk away from something like that feeling good.. … With a little more training and doing it, I will be able to put it down."
Also on her to-do list: college.
Kim plans to attend Princeton next fall, though she said she has "no idea" how she will juggle her competitive schedule with her Ivy-League course load.
"I'm pretty much just going in blind," she said. "It should be really fun though. … People say college is the highlight of their lives, so I'm hoping that's the same for me."
Fellow U.S. rider Maddie Mastro earned bronze and stood alongside Kim and China’s Cai Xuetong on the podium.
"It was great to get third, and it couldn't have come together better," Mastro said. "I came out to have fun, land some runs, so I got to do that."
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Mastro, 18 and from Wrightwood, California, said she had nothing but fond memories of Park City after earning a podium spot in a Grand Prix here when she was younger.
She said Eagle Superpipe was in great condition for Friday's finals, which was a relief after a week in which the athletes had little practice due to poor weather.
"I really like this halfpipe, so that was lucky for me," she said. "It's got great shape, it's steep, it's pretty fast, and with the new snow worked in, it made it even faster."
She performed a method, a front 720, a front 540, a back 540, and a front 900 for a score of 82.
Her teammate, Arielle Gold, an Olympic medalist from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, took fifth.
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