Winter Olympics 2018 success the springboard for Chloe Kim

It's been a whirlwind 12 months for teenage snowboarder Chloe Kim since she claimed her first Olympic gold medal at PyeongChang.

Chloe Kim was guaranteed to make the headlines at PyeongChang 2018, regardless of the result.

Too young to compete at Sochi 2014 where she would have been a surefire medal contender, Kim made her Olympic debut in the country of her parents' birth.

Having established herself as the outstanding halfpipe snowboarder of her generation, she arrived in Korea as one of the hottest favourites for gold at the entire Games.

She did not disappoint.

Riding to history

The contest was all but over after her first run.

Kim landed a 1080 spin and an inverted 540 as she racked up 93.75 points.

No one else would break the 90-point barrier.

Liu Jiayu came close with 89.75 on her second run, but the gold was Kim's when the Chinese failed to improve with her third and final effort.

And there was more.

No other woman has landed back-to-back 1080s in competition with Kim achieving the feat for the first time in February 2016.

On her second run, Kim just slipped as she tried to complete the second 1080.

But on her victory lap, she nailed it in a close to perfect run which US Snowboard team head coach Rick Bower described as "the best run that she's ever done".

Her score of 98.25 saw her claim victory by a huge 8.5-point margin as she emulated her mentor, 2002 gold medallist Kelly Clark.

In the face of massive expectation and pressure, 17-year-old Kim did a great job of hiding any nerves.

Maybe she didn't have any as she even found time to tweet between runs!

"Pushing myself and having fun"

Speaking to Olympic Channel after her gold medal exploits, Kim revealed her motivation in snowboarding.

"My motto as an athlete is just to do the best I can, always pushing myself and just having fun out there. My motto as a person is just to keep doing what I love."

Kim admitted then that she had been "dragged left and right doing press" but she was already accustomed to being in the spotlight.

It's a good job too as her Olympic title has propelled her fame to the next level.

Just weeks after winning gold, she was given her own Barbie doll to mark International Women's Day.

A month later, she was one of four Olympians - the others being Adam Rippon, Kevin Durant and Roger Federer - to make TIME's list of the 100 most influential people in 2018.

In his tribute for TIME, restaurateur David Chang said, "As fans, we saddled her with four years’ worth of built-up expectations. Asian-­American fans further piled on their hopes that she would shatter Asian stereotypes on her way to the podium.

"And you know what? She crushed it. Blew us all out of the water."

As if that wasn't enough, she was accepted into Princeton University.

But unlike figure skating world champion Nathan Chen, currently combining competing with studying at Yale, Kim opted to defer her entry after talking with friends and family. She will enroll this fall.

In pursuit of excellence

Last July, she received three ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) awards - being named Best Female Athlete, Best Female Olympian, and Best Female Action Sports Athlete.

And despite her increased profile away from the snow, Kim continues to push the boundaries in her sport.

In October, the California native became the first woman to land a frontside double cork 1080 while training in Switzerland.

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As well as winning both World Cup events she's contested this season - at Copper Mountain, Colorado and last month in Laax, Switzerland - Kim retained her Dew Tour Superpipe title in December.

At the end of January, the vibrant Californian claimed her fifth X Games Superpipe crown out of six in Aspen and added her first world championship title in February.

Now 18, she just wants to be normal teenager going to Princeton.

"I'd love to live just a normal life there, where maybe people don't recognise me and get to know me not because of what I do, but just because of me." - Chloe Kim to New York Times.

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