A day in the life of Chloe Kim
Million Dollar Smile
Bursting on the scene last year with with an X Games silver medal in her event debut, 14-year-old Chloe Kim has quickly become the new face of women's professional pipe riding. We caught up with her on a training day at Copper Mountain, Colorado, to see if we could find the secret to her pipe-riding magic.
Due to the low snow situation at her home mountain in Mammoth, California, Kim flew to Copper Mountain last week to train for X Games Aspen. Here, as the lifts start to open, Kim suits up outside Camp Hale Coffee at the resort's base.
Copper's 22-foot superpipe is an early-season favorite training ground for athletes around the country, given Colorado's consistent snowfalls. Kim's day begins with just a few light duty laps to keep her legs and mind fresh and ready for the intensive work coming up with coaches and teammates the following week.
Kim boosts an impressive cab 5 midway down the pipe overlooking Copper Village and the Sky Chutes of Summit County's 10 Mile Range.
Turning pro at such a young age brings an unusual set of logistical challenges for the traveling athlete -- thus, Kim's father, Jong, is her constant companion, chauffeur and part-time coach for her competitive season. "I'm really fortunate that he's been able to basically stop working and fully support me in my early career," says Kim.
Kim has been hard at work in the early season developing her Danny Davis-inspired switch method. If she lands it at the X Games, it will be a first for competitive women's snowboarding. So if you were wondering what, besides Kim's impressive amplitude, makes her such a force to be reckoned with -- this is it.
Taking a short mid-morning break, Chloe Kim checks in with her latest social addictions, Instagram and Snapchat, while her father stays on top of other elements of the trip in Jack's cafeteria.
With X Games Aspen just weeks away, being able to take free-ride laps on the mountain is a rare luxury. A week past the latest storm, and Kim is still able to find little pockets of soft snow while exploring the runs away from the superpipe at Copper.
"We should do tripods," says Kim, laughing while taking a break from pipe training. "I haven't done these in years."
Back to the pipe for some pre-lunch laps as the deck gets crowded with other athletes training under the midday sun. Kim chats with coaches and other riders while waiting for her turn to drop.
With the midday sun beating down and temperatures approaching 40 degrees, training wraps up for the day with a last mellow lap down the pipe just before lunch.