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Chloe Kim is #Relatable and #Inspiring

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On Tuesday morning, February 13, 2018, seventeen-year-old Chloe Kim cemented her name in history as the youngest female to win a gold medal in halfpipe at the Winter Olympics.

Kim competed in halfpipe for Team USA and scored a phenomenal 98.25 out of 100. Second place, Jiayu Liu from China, trailed her by almost nine points. To further augment her win, Kim broke another record during her competition, becoming the first female to land consecutive 1080-degree spins.

“It was really cool that she is so young and able to work so hard and get a gold medal at such a young age. It’s really inspiring to us,” said Abigail Wontrop, junior.

Kim impressed the American public with her prodigious abilities and outgoing personality. She also won the hearts of South Koreans, who proudly watched the Korean-American win gold in her parents’ homeland. Many have found her especially relatable because of her tweets and responses to reporters.

Between her runs, she tweeted, “Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry,” reports Fox News.

Americans found not only Kim but also her father, Jong Jin Kim, endearing. Fans gushed over Chloe’s snowboarding skills and Jong Jin’s enthusiasm in cheering for his daughter. While Chloe competed, Jong Jin applauded her with a hand-drawn sign that displayed “Go Chloe!”  and a heart.

According to CNN, Jong Jin called Chloe’s success his American dream, a phenomenon he and his wife, Boran, pursued when they emigrated from South Korea. Jong Jin introduced Chloe to snowboarding at age four when he took her to a resort at Mammoth Mountain, California.

As Chloe honed her skills, Jong Jin realized her talent and quit his job as an engineer to fully accommodate Chloe and help her reach her potential. He frequently drove Chloe six hours to Mammoth Mountain for her training and advised her to practice with her left foot instead of her right foot forward for a year.

He guided Chloe to success even before the Olympics. In 2014, Chloe qualified for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, at age 13. However, she could not compete due to her young age. That same year, she became the youngest person ever to win the World Snowboard Tour.

Chloe voiced her appreciation for her father, saying that she could not imagine, “leaving your life behind and chasing this dream with your kid,” reports CNN.

Starting from 2015, Chloe won first place in the X Games four times and became the first person to win the X Games three times before age 16, reports CNBC. In 2016, she won gold in halfpipe and slopestyle at the Youth Olympic Winter Games, becoming the first American female to do so. At the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix, she performed consecutive 1080-degree spins, again becoming the first female snowboarder to do so.

“I definitely think she’s inspiring because she’s really young, and we’re young, so she makes it feel like I can accomplish my dreams, too,” said Mari Garza, freshman.

Chloe has received various titles for her accomplishments. In 2016, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Awards honored her with the Snowboarding Athlete of the Year. Time also named her as one of the 30 most influential teens of 2016. In addition, her triumph landed her multiple sponsors, including Nike and Toyota. She will star as the front cover for the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated.

“She stands for everything Trump stands against because it shows that immigrants can come to this country and bring something in. As [a first-generation Korean American], Chloe brought in gold for the USA!” said Agustina Cordova, junior.

Chloe and Jong Jin Kim’s names even penetrated into politics. Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois exemplified the Kim’s to argue against Trump’s strict immigration policy and for the renewal of DACA.

According to the Washington Post, Durbin said, “It’s a story of an immigrant family. A man who might not have passed some of the merit-based tests that we’re hearing around here … But who came to the United States determined to make a life and to bring a family forward.”

However, some criticized Durbin’s comparison, claiming that this would make Americans have excessively high expectations of immigrants, who do not have to accomplish amazing feats to contribute to society.

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Chloe Kim is #Relatable and #Inspiring