Passport to Pyeongchang: With Dew Tour win, American snowboard phenom Kim first to qualify for Olympics
A week after she took first place at the U.S. Olympic qualifier at the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain Resort, 17-year-old Chloe Kim became the first U.S. snowboarder to qualify for the Olympics via another win at Friday’s Dew Tour.
Kim pieced together a 93.00 on her first run to take the ladies superpipe title on the strength of consecutive 1080s, a back-to-back move that distinguishes the Pyeongchang gold medal favorite from any other female snowboarder in the world.
“It’s like a dream almost and I’m trying to wake up,” Kim said of clinching the Olympic berth. “I think today, when I get home, it’s going to sink in and I’m probably going to cry.”
Last week at the Copper Mountain Olympic qualifier an American trio swept the podium, a team accomplishment that was repeated on Friday, though with a slightly different combination.
Kim and second place finisher Kelly Clark (90.00), were a part of the trio again while Arielle Gold (87.00) edged out last week’s second place finisher Maddie Mastro (84.33) to make the Dew Tour podium.
The Olympic veteran Clark managed to put together the 90.00 run on her final turn after she had a scary injury on her second run, slamming the bottom of her board into the halfpipe lip.
Though she had a bandage over a bloody nose, once Clark was cleared by medics, she didn’t hesitate to return to the top of the pipe and give it her all.
“I looked at my coach,” Clark said, “and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Are you going to step on the gas?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely.’”