USA Olympians Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon Named to Time's 100 Most Influential People

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2018

Chloe Kim, of the United States, celebrates winning gold after the women's halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Two American Olympians, snowboarder Chloe Kim and figure skater Adam Rippon, were among the athletes named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2018.

Time announced this year's honorees Thursday morning.

Kim became a fan favorite during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for her combination of dominance on the halfpipe and her down-to-earth attitude.

The 17-year-old California native endeared herself to fans both in the United States and abroad with messages on Twitter in the midst of competing on the sport's biggest stage:

Kim went on the capture the gold medal in the halfpipe, beating the entire field by almost 10 points with a nearly flawless final run that earned a 98.25 score.

"She crushed it. Blew us all out of the water. Now the best thing Chloe Kim can do is be Chloe Kim," restaurateur David Chang wrote for Time. "That's not being selfish—that's letting people know they don't have to be anything that anyone says they should be."

Meanwhile, Rippon provided inspiration as an openly gay athlete challenging for gold on the world stage. He ended up winning a bronze medal as part of the team figure skating competition.

Music legend Cher explained the importance of his success in her essay about Rippon for Time:

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"Adam is a skater who happens to be gay, and that represents something wonderful to young people. When I was young, I had no role models—everyone looked like Sandra Dee and Doris Day. There was nobody who made me think, 'Oh, I could be like them. They represent me.' Adam shows people that if you put blood, sweat and tears into what you're doing, you can achieve something that's special. You can be special. And I think that's very brave."

His opportunity to inspire the next generation will continue after being named as part of the next Dancing with the Stars cast last week.

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