Chloe Kim takes gold in a lackluster women’s snowboard superpipe contest
The beat marches on for Chloe Kim. The California teen sensation took down her competition once again Saturday, winning the X Games Aspen women’s snowboard superpipe contest yet again.
It was the sixth Aspen medal for the 18-year-old in six Aspen appearances. She’s now won gold four times in Aspen, with a fifth gold coming in Oslo in 2016.
The most recent medal is probably the most forgettable, however. She appeared to have tweaked her leg during training, and the cold, icy conditions were a struggle for all eight competitors. Kim only put down one clean run, a mild-mannered 84 on her second attempt, but it was enough for gold.
“I obviously wanted to do a completely different run,” said Kim, who was hoping to attempt a double cork 1080, a trick she’s landed, just never in a competition. “I have a lot of tricks I wanted to do out here. Unfortunately, it was just a little unsafe. My health is more important.”
The only rider to put down a reasonable first run was Queralt Castellet. The Spaniard and four-time Olympian put down an 80 on her first go, which was more than enough for the silver. It was Castellet’s first X Games medal.
Finishing in third was China’s Cai Xuetong, who scored 72.66 on her final run. It was Xuetong’s third X Games medal. She took silver in 2017 and had another bronze back in 2016.
It was a rough day for the two other Americans in Saturday’s competition. Steamboat Springs native Arielle Gold, a two-time X Games Aspen silver medalist, finished last after failing to put down a clean run. California’s Maddie Mastro wasn’t much better, finishing sixth.
Jiayu Liu (fourth), Haruna Matsumoto (fifth) and Sena Tomita (seventh) rounded out the competitors.
Despite a lackluster competition, there was plenty to cheer about with Kelly Clark, the sport’s longtime star, making an appearance. Clark recently announced her retirement after a 20-year career that included five Olympic appearances and 14 X Games medals.
Clark was recognized prior to the contest Saturday, and took one final run through the X Games superpipe before saying a quick farewell to the crowd.
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Brooke O’Sullivan carries herself like an experienced golfer. Her smooth swing and resilience on course matches that of players far her senior, and her leadership off the course is of someone who’s seen and done a lot with the sport. In reality, she’s merely a freshman on the AHS girls golf team.