Saying that she wants to be “a normal kid for once,” Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim has posted a video explaining her decision to skip the upcoming season while attending Princeton as a freshman.
“I don’t want anyone to think I’m about to retire or anything like that,” she said on YouTube. “I just need some Chloe time.”
At 19, Kim has taken snowboarding by storm over the past few years, cementing her stature as the sport’s top performer when she won gold in the women’s halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
But the rigors of competing on the world stage had begun to take their toll on an athlete who turned professional at 12. Fatigue might have contributed to her breaking an ankle on an otherwise minor fall last spring.
Getting accepted to Princeton, which she called her “dream school,” persuaded her to take a break.
“It was a really tough decision to make because I love snowboarding and I love competing,” she said. “But I’ve been doing it for my whole life pretty much.”
Kim plans to resume training in May or June with the intention of competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The sabbatical, she said, “will be really eye-opening for me, and I think it will help me come back even stronger.”