Chloe Kim's snowboarding career launched at 6 years old when her dad signed her up for a team because it was cheaper than lessons

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty
  • Chloe Kim has been dominating the snowboarding world for years.
  • Kim began snowboarding at four years old, and joined her first team at six.
  • Kim’s father said he signed her up for the team because it was cheaper than getting lessons.
  • Kim continued her rise from then, all the way to the Pyeongchang Olympics, where she won a gold medal.

On Tuesday at the Winter Olympics, Chloe Kim announced herself as the next star of the games when she dominated the women’s halfpipe to win a gold medal.

At just 17 years old, Kim has been one of the most dominant snowboarders in the world for years, tearing up the lower levels of the sport until she was old enough to make it to the Olympics.

According to ESPN’s Alyssa Roenigk, Kim began snowboarding at four and took to the sport naturally. By five, she was already hitting jumps and rails.

After showing a knack for the sport, Kim’s father signed her up for a team at Mountain High resort in Wrightwood, California. However, he didn’t do it just to advance Kim’s career – the team was cheaper than regular lessons.

“Normally lessons are $US100,” Jong Kim said. “But they only charged $US450 for the whole season if you were on the team.”

Kim’s rise was meteoric. According to Roenigk, she was invited to USASA Nationals after one season. After she later moved to Switzerland for two years, where she continued to improve, she returned to the U.S. around 10 years old, joined the Mammoth Mountain snowboard team and caught the eye of Olympic snowboarder Kelly Clark.

Kim continued to climb as she got older. She qualified for the Sochi Olympics in 2014, but was too young. In the wait for Pyeongchang, she became the first female snowboarder to land back-to-back 1080s, won gold at the Youth Olympics and X games, and scored a perfect 100 at the Grand Prix.

Now she seems poised to dominate the Olympics for years.

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