Meet The 16 Year-Old Dominating Professional Snowboarding

Known as "the Now of women's snowboarding," Chloe Kim is planning to ride the momentum from her double World Snowboard Tour wins all the way to 2018 Olympic gold. At just 16 years-old, she's dominated competitions ranging from U.S. Opens to Grand Prixs, though she didn't meet the age requirements to go on to qualify for 2014's Sochi Winter Olympics (speaking of prodigy problems). A Southern California native, Kim got her first taste of snowboarding at 4 — and dove into competitions only two years later. Since then, she’s become one of the daredevil sport’s most decorated athletes, winning her first X Games silver medal at just 13. As if that weren’t remarkable enough, she’s now the only competitor to capture two X Games gold medals under the age of 16.
If Kim earns a place on the 2018 Women's Olympic snowboarding team, she could become the youngest halfpipe competitor to take home the top prize. And these Games, which will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have a deepened emotional resonance for the snowboarding savant. A first generation American whose mom and dad are Korean immigrants, Kim would vie for Olympic glory buoyed by the support of the family members still living in her parents’ native country.
Along with breaking barriers for young competitors, Kim’s also setting new highs (quite literally) for female snowboarders as the first woman in the world to land back-to-back 1080s. Watch the video above to see how absurdly complex this maneuver is, and to learn more about her gravity-defying push to wow at future Olympics. We’re so inspired by the obvious joy that fuels Kim's flawless rides — even if we’re still a little scared to put on our own helmets or strap on a board. "Having fun is my greatest strategy," she smiles, and it shows.

More from Fitness

R29 Original Series