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- After becoming a worldwide sensation during the 2018 Olympics, American snowboarder Chloe Kim said the 2022 Olympics in Beijing might be her final Olympiad.
- Kim said in an interview that she isn’t pursuing a third Olympics because she’s afraid her body may “fall apart” by the time she’s 26.
- Kim didn’t rule out competing beyond 2022 but said she has other things she wants to pursue in life.
Chloe Kim became a breakout star at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, winning a gold medal at just 17 years old.
However, Kim may not be long for the sport, despite what would appear to be a promising future, given her young age.
In an interview with The New York Times’ Brian Pinelli, Kim said she is not aiming to compete in three Olympics in hopes of setting any records, in part because she doesn’t think her body will hold up.
“I don’t know if I can do that for that long,” Kim said. “It would be cool to go to the Olympics three times, but I feel like I did it once and I’m really happy … I feel like when I’m 26, I’m going to be like my back, my arms, my legs, my shoulders, my neck. I feel like everything is going to fall apart.”
Kim is slated to compete in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, and she’ll be 21, turning 22. She would be 25, turning 26 in the 2026 Olympics, which are yet to find a home.
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Despite the physical nature of her sport and the potential for life-altering crashes, Kim would not be among the oldest snowboarders if she were to compete in 2026. Her closest rival, China’s Cai Xuetong, is 25. Legendary US snowboarder Kelly Clark was 34 at the Pyeongchang games, and Shaun White was 31.
However, Kim told Pinelli that she has other interests and that snowboarding has occasionally interceded. She wants to major in science when at Princeton this fall and that she often missed labs for snowboarding.
“I have so much I want to do in my life – I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a scientist, a doctor, all of these crazy things I want to try,” Kim said.
Kim didn’t rule out snowboarding completely, however.
“Whatever path I choose, I know it will be the right one – whether I keep snowboarding, do one more Olympics and then maybe retire and pursue school and education.”