Chloe Kim stamped her name on a new era of snowboarding with a run down the halfpipe that, officially, did not mean anything, but to her, meant everything.
The Olympic gold medal was already hers but she knew she could do better. So, she cinched on her gloves, cranked up "Motorsport" on her iPod, said "This one's for you Grams" — a shout-out to her South Korean grandmother, who was watching her in person for the first time — and dropped into the halfpipe to make history.
On the last run of Tuesday's sunsplashed final, Kim hit back-to-back 1080-degree spins on her second and third jumps — repeating a combination no other woman has ever done in a competition.
She landed them squarely, sent her already super-hyped family at the bottom into overdrive and sent out the message that everyone from grandma to those at the roots of this sport love to hear: "I knew I wasn't going to be completely satisfied taking home the gold, but knowing that I could've done better."
Earlier in the day, the teenage phenom had tweeted that she hadn't finished her breakfast sandwich and was feeling "hangry" at the halfpipe.
But the 17-year-old from California made it look easy, but only afterward did she concede how difficult the past several months have been. Her story has been told and sold and marketed for gold: Her parents both emigrated to the United States from South Korea, and though it was more coincidence than any grand plan, Kim making her Olympic debut in the country where her family was from set up a sure path to stardom in the halfpipe and beyond.