Chloe Kim’s Dad Texted Her an Epic Korean Legend Right Before Her Olympic Win

Chloe Kim’s Dad Texted Her an Epic Korean Legend Right Before Her Olympic Win
Ryan General
February 15, 2018

As Chloe Kim stood at the top of the Olympic halfpipe for her victory lap on Tuesday in Pyeongchang, one voice stuck out amid the cheers from the jubilant crowd.

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Jong-Jin Kim, her dad, yelled “Imugi!” in celebration of her assured gold. “Imugi!”

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Jong sent a meaningful text to his 17-year-old daughter earlier in anticipation of her big game, according to NBC.

via Instagram/chloekimsnow

“Today is the day imugi turns to a dragon,” Jong wrote in the SMS.

“Ha ha ha ha ha, thank you very much,” the first generation Korean-American star athlete replied.

“[Dad] was like, let’s be a dragon today!” Kim told NBC. “I was like, ok, no pressure or anything, but I’ll try my best. Just emerge from the earth. … Something has to be right about it. It turned out pretty well. If I’m a dragon, I’m down.”

An earlier interview of Jong with ESPN sheds light on this intriguing imugi reference.

“She was born in the year of the dragon,” Jong was quoted as saying.

“In Korean myth, a dragon isn’t born a dragon. It starts its life as a big snake. Then it waits 1,000 years, and on a stormy day the snake goes up into the sky and becomes a full-fledged dragon.”

He explained that the Korean word for these baby dragons is imugi and they called Chloe “ipugi,” which is a made-up hybrid word meaning “baby girl dragon.”

“Next year, the ipugi will become a real dragon with her big power, the gold medal. Chloe didn’t wait 1,000 years. She waited four. It’s just a story I tell to try to make her happy. Not more. But if she wins a gold medal, we will be very happy.”

Kim eventually delivered, scoring a pair of 90-plus point runs with the first back-to-back 1080s in Olympic women’s competition.

The “Imugi!” has indeed transformed into a powerful dragon, just as her dad predicted.

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