Chloe Kim: Why America’s best snowboarder can’t compete at Sochi Olympics

Chloe Kim was a breakout star on Twitter Saturday night as she competed in the Snowboard Superpipe Final at the X Games.

No surprise she’d be trending worldwide in the biggest snowboard event just a couple weeks before the Sochi Olympics kick off. Only one problem: Kim won’t be making the trip to Russia this week with the rest of her competitors.

Kim, who took the silver medal on Saturday against a world-class field, is just 13 years old and officially too young to compete in the Olympics.

The Olympics’ age requirement requires athletes to turn 16 during the Olympic year, meaning Kim would’ve had to turn 15 by Dec. 31, 2013 to qualify. She was off by more than two years.

Kim was taking part in her first X Games this weekend, but she’s regularly been landing on the podium on the Dew Tour. She’s unquestionably been better than Hannah Teter, Arielle Gold and Kaitlyn Farrington, who will represent the United States in Sochi. Teter didn’t even make the final in the last Dew Tour event.

She’s been locked in a battle with Australian Torah Bright and fellow American Kelly Clark, who won gold at the 2002 Olympics, when Kim was just 1 year old.

Yeah, 1 year old. Clark, hardly old at 30, could easily be her mother.

Kim is just 5-foot-2, but shows an incredible level of amplitude and athleticism. Just watching this third-place run from the Dew Tour event in December is a good example of how much higher and smoother she is than ladies like Teter and Farrington.

The Olympic age requirements are supposedly in place to prevent injuries to athletes not fully grown into their bodies. Unfortunately, in this case, it’s robbing the United States of one of its best opportunities to dethrone Bright.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. He can’t snowboard, but is curious when snowtubing will become an Olympic sport.


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