Kim posted a high score of 98.25, with China's Liu Jiayu (89.75) and the United States' Arielle Gold (85.75) rounding out the medal podium. Since Kim had the two highest overall scores in the event, ESPN The Magazine's Mina Kimes argued she should've occupied the first and second places on the medal stand:
Kim headed for Pyeongchang with sky-high expectations. She won four gold medals in snowboard SuperPipe at the Winter X Games and collected a pair of golds in halfpipe and slopestyle at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.
The 17-year-old had the highest score during qualifying (95.50), and she wasted little time putting the field on notice during Monday's final. She climbed into first place after the first run with a score of 93.75.
NBC Olympics shared a replay of her run:
Bleacher Report's Joon Lee showed Kim celebrating with her family at the bottom of the course:
At that point, the rest of the finalists were essentially fighting for silver and bronze. Considering she essentially had the gold medal wrapped up, Kim can be forgiven for having her mind elsewhere while waiting before her final run:
Kim fell on her second run, which opened the door for somebody to overtake her for first place. But Liu's fall during her third run sealed Kim's gold medal. Still, the teenager wasn't content to rest on her laurels, hitting back-to-back 1080s and a frontside 900 to narrowly miss out on a perfect score.
While the 2018 Olympics represented Kim's biggest breakthrough on a worldwide stage, they likely represented the swan song for 34-year-old Kelly Clark. Clark, the 2002 gold medalist and a two-time bronze medalist in the halfpipe, finished fourth with a score of 83.50 after Gold leapfrogged her in the final run.
Kim and the 21-year-old Gold showed the future of U.S. snowboarding is in good hands, with Kim in particular one of Team USA's brightest stars.