Tiny Teen's Huge Performance Wins Her The Gold, And The Hearts Of American Patriots

Chloe Kim gracefully snowboarded her way to a near-perfect score and a gold medal on Tuesday, making her parents and her country proud. The 17-year-old athlete's story is inspirational, and her display of emotions when her country's anthem rang out in Pyeongchang was touching.

Kim's parents are Korean immigrants who came to the U.S. when she was young. The little powerhouse proved herself in snowboarding at an early age.

She was good enough to compete in the Sochi games in 2014, but since she was just 13-years-old, she was too young to make the team.

The young girl's parents felt that everything happens for a reason, and there was a reason why Kim didn't go to Sochi: she was destined to compete four years later, in Pyeongchang, just a couple of miles from where her parents grew up.

Some of her South Korean family members were also able to see her compete for the first time.

Kim's parents have a sweet nickname for her: 'Ipugi', which means 'baby girl dragon'. Chloe was born in the year of the dragon, and her parents believe it's that dragon spirit that made her an Olympic competitor.

In Korean mythology, when dragons are born, they start out as snakes. After living 1,000 years, on a stormy day, they take to the sky as a full-fledged dragon.

“Chloe didn't wait 1,000 years. She waited four,” Kim's father told an ESPN reporter.  “At the Olympics, the ipugi will become a real dragon with her big power, the gold medal.”

That four years of waiting served Kim well. The tiny 13-year-old had four years to train, strengthen herself and prepare herself for the challenges ahead. At 17, she was ready.

She had already proven herself by locking the gold before her third run, but that doesn’t mean she was willing to let up on herself. She was the first woman in an Olympic game to do back-to-back 1080s and scored a 98.25.

As she stood on the podium and 'The Star-Spangled Banner' played, tears began to flow.  The teen admits that when the anthem played for the USA, she couldn't help choking up.

On the 'Today' show, she said, “I was like, 'I can't cry right now. I can't do this. I worked so hard on my eyeliner!'” Kim said. Kim felt like she wasn't just representing her country, but her parents' homeland.

“It's such an honor to just represent the U.S. and the country where my parents [emigrated] from,” she said.

"Happy tears! Sharing this moment, @chloekimsnow Grandma, 2 aunts & 3 cousins who live in Korea. This is 1st time they’ve seen her race in person," tweeted Cheryl Preheim, NBC anchor and Olympic reporter, sharing the image of the teen.

Kim later shared a photo of herself on Instagram crying, and another of her holding the American flag after winning.

"Trying to think of a caption is actually impossible but all I can say is thank you to everyone who's been there for me since the beginning. I am so grateful to be surrounded by people I love with all my heart and so thankful for my family and their never ending love and support. Glad I could bring home the Gold!!"

On Twitter, she admitted, "I hate crying but I'll give myself a pass for this one. Thank you everyone for the love! Stoked to bring home the gold."

Source: IJR
Photo: YouTube

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