[Lead image: This group of Chloe Kim fans work in marketing for Toyota, already one of her big name sponsors. Photo: Tristan Kennedy]
“Jong jin, your daughter is going to be everywhere in the United States. What’s that feel like, to know that she’s going to be a star?” The elderly Korean man smiled. “I’m very happy?” he said, slightly bemused by the question and the scrum of reporters encircling him.
But if Chloe Kim’s father found the question odd, the journalist who asked it wasn’t wrong. His daughter, whose picture was on front pages across the US and around the world following her victory, is well on a way to being a globally recognisable superstar.
“If you designed a snowboarder for the side of cereal boxes in a lab, you’d be hard pushed to do better than Chloe Kim.”
Every now and then an athlete comes along who transcends their sport. Tiger Woods. Lindsey Vonn. David Beckham. In snowboarding, it’s arguably happened only once, with a certain Shaun Roger White. But all signs are pointing to the fact that Chloe Kim may be the next rider not just to cross over to the mainstream, but to conquer it.
If you were to design a snowboarder for the side of cereal boxes in a lab, you’d be hard pushed to come up with a better one than the 17-year-old girl who just won gold.