Chloe Kim takes season off from competition

Olympic halfpipe champion says she needs some 'Chloe time' after seven years in the pro ranks but wants to come back next season

By Rory Jiwani

Chloe Kim has announced that she is taking this season off from competitive snowboarding.

The PyeongChang 2018 halfpipe gold medallist is in her first year at Princeton University where she hopes to major in science.

Kim has not competed since having surgery on a broken ankle in March but - in a video posted to YouTube - insisted she will be back for next season and to defend her Olympic title at Beijing 2022.

She said, "I don’t want anyone to think I’m about to retire or anything like that. I just need some Chloe time.

"I want to be in good health for the next Olympics as well as for the rest of my life." - Chloe Kim

"It'll help me come back even stronger"

Kim is the reigning Olympic and world champion and has five X-Games superpipe titles to her name.

The California native has been the dominant figure in the sport for the past five years, but now wants to take some time out:

"I’ve been competing at a pro level since I was 12 and I’m 19 now. I wanted to kind of explore life outside of that scene for a year.

"Competing is very very stressful. There’s a lot of expectations on you and a lot of pressure."

Having been home-schooled since the start of her pro career, Kim said she was "excited" to set foot in a classroom again having not done so since seventh grade:

"After the Olympics last year, I got into my dream school. It was always a joke growing up when I was a little girl, ‘I want to be a princess, I want to go to Princeton’. And the fact that it actually happened is just absolutely insane.

"I need to be a normal kid for once because I haven’t been able to do that my whole life." - Chloe Kim

Kim also stated that she hoped time off would benefit her career in the long run.

She said, "When I broke my ankle, it was a very minor fall and it just made me think, ‘Wow, my body is tired. It can’t take slams as well as it used to.’

"I want to be in good health for the next Olympics as well as for the rest of my life so I think this was a good decision.

"I think it’ll help me come back even stronger, even more determined, more excited – not that I wasn’t – but I just needed that extra ‘ooomph’." - Chloe Kim

Kim is now looking forward to focussing more on life at Princeton, but intends to keep snowboarding in her spare time.

She added, "It doesn't mean I'm not going to be snowboarding at all. When I have time and have a break, I'll go to Mammoth and try and have some fun... go ride with my family. Just have a stress-free season.

"I know I'm going to meet some amazing people and I know that I'm going to have some crazy life experiences and I'll get back to training in May, June, which will be awesome. And we'll get back to it.

"I think right now at this point in my life, this is what will make me the happiest. I think it'll be good for me as a person." - Chloe Kim