Snowboarder Kelly Clark still going strong in fifth Olympics

Mikaela Shiffrin will start favourite in the slalom in PyeongChang

"I don't really try to talk her on the phone these days, because I want her to be focused during the Olympics". "I didn't want to get done and just say wow, got a string of great results, but ..."

Despite breaking things off with her beau before the biggest snowboarding competition of her life, Kim doesn't think that there are any hard feelings between the two.

Chloe Kim was ready for the Olympics in 2014, but by rule, they were not ready for her.

"I'm always more nervous in qualies", Kim said. "So I just broke it off", Kim told Sports Illustrated. But at 13, she was too young to go.

Her upward trajectory in the sport has continued, as she has used almost unparalleled amplitude and the most progressive tricks to become the best women's halfpipe rider in the world.

She's been able to win numerous contests since then without that second 1080 in her run, but with many of her competitors suddenly stepping up their game and learning the frontside 1080 before PyeongChang, Kim dusted off the back-to-back 10s again last month at X Games Aspen.

"It's a priviledge to be in a place where I get to inspire the next generation", Clark said "and hopefully my ceiling will become her floor".

Before Chloe was scheduled to compete in her first Olympics, Jong-jin said he texted her to become "a dragon".

She has six X Games medals, including four gold.

Even those who know Kim away from the slopes can't help but feel the goose bumps when they watch her runs, which have earned her the No. 1 ranking on the World Snowboard Tour in women's halfpipe. Now four others have, including their American teammates Arielle Gold and Maddie Mastro.

Kim has been working on them throughout the season, and whether she attempts them in Pyeongchang will depend on the quality of the halfpipe. Because of that, she had a long, drawn-out wait. "For me that has been a core value in my snowboarding, and I love seeing that in her".

As she has built toward going to the Games this year, she also pushed to finish high school early and take her SATs. Her dad has made sure she's still involved in as many senior activities as possible, Jayne said, as she finds a balance between work and play.

Now she sees it as a blessing in disguise.

"To be able to have seen her a couple weekends ago at the Grand Prix and just in her strength and in her element, the grace, the height, the athleticism that she has, it was just awesome", said Lora Wehsener, the education liaison at the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation.



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