By now we all know Chloe Kim; teenage snowboarding wunderkind, ice cream enthusiast, A+ tweeter and now, Olympic gold medalist. However, her tremendous win in the women’s halfpipe competition on Tuesday put another American hero front and center: Her dad, Jong Jin Kim.
Kim is arguably his daughter’s biggest fan. The elder Kim was seen in the crowd during his daughter’s run, holding a “Go Chloe” sign with hearts drawn on. After her win, Chloe Kim’s mother and father embraced her and her father was heard saying, as he pointed to himself, “American dream.”
“I was very stressed because everyone was saying Chloe was going to win gold but no one knows the result – that I cannot control,” he told CNN Sport.
“Now I’m happy, all the stress is gone. I’m the dad of an Olympic gold medalist, not many people have this kind of feeling.”
And then, he proceeded to celebrate in the most American way possible: By enjoying a nice cold beer.
It’s been a long road for the Kim family, and one that’s brought them full circle in the most satisfying of ways. Jong Jin Kim emigrated from South Korea to the United States in 1982 with $800 cash.
As his daughter’s talent emerged, he gave up his job to help her chase her snowboarding dreams. During a Monday appearance on the Today Show, he reiterated the reason behind his sacrifice: “We — an immigrant like me —we always say, ‘the American dream,’” he said.
He explained that to him, Chloe Kim is the American dream.
None of this is lost on the younger Kim, who has at times teared up when recalling her family’s love and support.
After winning gold, she admitted she was unable to fathom “leaving your life behind and chasing this dream with your kid.”