Korean American snowboarder Chloe Kim recently revealed what life was like after the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, mentioning that she “hated life” and was never left alone following her success.
Speaking to Time, Kim, 21, admitted she had trouble coping with her newfound fame after becoming the youngest female athlete to win a gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Games.
Kim, who was 17 at the time, noted that she could no longer go to her “favorite place,” and all she wanted was “a day where I was left alone.”
“I appreciate that everyone loves and supports me, but I just wish people could understand what I was going through up to that point,” Kim continued. “Everyone was like, ‘I just met her, and she’s such a b*tch.’ I’m not a b*tch. I just had the most exhausting two months of my life, and the minute I get home I’m getting hassled.”
At one point, feeling “so burnt out” and “in a pretty low, dark place,” Kim tossed her gold medal in the trash at her parents’ home in Southern California before retrieving it later.
“I hated life,” she told Time.
Her success in the sport also made her a target of others’ negative reactions. Kim said that she received “hateful messages” after winning silver at the 2014 X Games and that the experience made her cry herself to sleep on “the best night” of her life.
“At that point, you’re like, ‘OK, who can I turn to? Who has probably dealt with this before?’ I would constantly look for anyone. But there was no one,” she said, adding that some unidentified teammates had bullied her on social media.
She was also targeted with anti-Asian hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2021, NextShark previously reported. Kim noted that she receives “hundreds” of racist messages every month. She first started receiving hateful comments after she began competing at the age of 13.
Kim took a break from snowboarding to attend Princeton University in 2019, but her fame followed her. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to be here as the snowboarder. I want to be here as a student. I want to be like everyone else. I want to be normal. That’s why I came here.’”
Kim is one of the Asian American athletes who will compete for Team USA in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. She will be joined by Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou and Jason Brown, who will compete in figure skating.
Featured Image via @chloekim