Two-time Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim plans to take a full season off from competition to prioritize taking care of her mental health.
The snowboarding star revealed her plans in an interview with Cheddar News last week.
The Korean American snowboarder from California is only 22 years old but has already won the highest recognitions and awards in her sport since she first learned how to snowboard at 4. When she was 14 years old, she became the youngest gold medalist in the X Games. She also won two gold medals in the Winter Youth Olympic Games. She was only 17 years old when she won a gold medal in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and defended her title by winning another gold medal during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
According to Kim, her long commitment to the sport has made it an exhausting part of her identity. She admitted in her interview with Cheddar that she wanted to go to school to find friends who were not part of the industry and knew nothing about snowboarding.
“It was nice to have that type of separation and get away from the thought of working,” she said of her experience as a student at Princeton University.
Despite her strong passion for the sport and impressive accomplishments, she has also experienced tremendous burnout. Following her immediate rise to fame when she won her first Olympic gold, Kim threw the medal in the trash before retrieving it later. She has also been the target of anti-Asian hate messages since she was 13 years old, which she has said also took a toll on her mental health.
Kim said she still plans to compete in the upcoming Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.
Feature Image via NBC Sports