Father of top U.S. snowboarder says watching his daughter’s debut was nerve-wracking

February 12, 2018
Kim Jong-jin, father of U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim, speaks to reporters at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, after watching his daughter's performance in the women's halfpipe event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

Kim Jong-jin, father of U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim, speaks to reporters at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, after watching his daughter’s performance in the women’s halfpipe event at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Feb. 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) — Even though his daughter is considered the top freestyle snowboarder in the world, Kim Jong-jin, father of U.S. athlete Chloe Kim, said Monday that watching his daughter’s performance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was nerve-wracking.

Kim Jong-jin was with his wife, two other daughters and Chloe’s aunt at Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, to see Chloe’s Winter Olympics debut in the women’s half-pipe event.

“At first, I didn’t really think about the Olympics seriously, because you see the same old athletes there,” he said. “But yesterday, I just couldn’t get to sleep. It’s really nail-biting to watch the qualifiers because one fall can ruin it all.”

Chloe Kim, however, calmed her father’s nerves with her dominant performance, finishing first in the qualifying round. She was the only one among 24 contestants to score more than 90 points in her two qualifying runs — 91.50 in the first and 95.50 in the second.

“I knew that my daughter would go to the finals if she doesn’t fall,” he said. “I was relieved after watching my daughter’s first run.”

His devotion and avid support for Chloe have been touching people’s hearts lately. His life story was even made to a television ad that aired during this year’s Super Bowl.

“I don’t know how I got this far,” he said. “I just want to thank my daughter for doing well. I’m just a lucky guy.”

Before Chloe was scheduled to compete in her first Olympics, Jong-jin said he texted her to become “a dragon.” Under Chinese zodiac, Chloe is born in the year of the dragon.

“I just wrote ‘Chloe, it’s time to be a dragon,’” he said. “I don’t really try to talk her on the phone these days, because I want her to be focused during the Olympics.”

The women’s half-pipe will start on Tuesday, and Jong-jin said he will be there along with his family.

“The finals will have three runs, so she’ll do fine,” he said.

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