Two-time Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim has announced she's going on a temporary hiatus from competing in snowboarding.
"I will be taking a full season off of competition ... just for my mental health," Kim told Cheddar News on Thursday. "(I) just want to kind of reset and don't want to get right back into it after a fun, but draining, year... I just want to enjoy this moment, take it all in and get back to it when I'm ready."
Kim, who won her two gold medals at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is the first woman to win gold twice in halfpipe snowboarding. In recent years, the 21-year-old has also become a fixture in pop culture, from her image being feature on a Kellogg's Corn Flakes box to Mattel creating a Barbie doll of her.
But fame has brought with it challenges; the Long Beach, California-born, second-generation Korean American has spoken about facing racism and coping with fame after the 2018 Olympics, which led her to some dark moments. She even briefly threw her medal in the trash.
"I kinda got scared. I got really bad anxiety," she told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie in February, noting that it gave her second thoughts about returning to the Olympics in Beijing.
"I hated (snowboarding) for the first time in my life," Kim said later on in the interview.
She then took a break from snowboarding for two years to attend Princeton University, where her fame followed her. Eventually, she found a solid group of friends and adjusted, giving her the reset she needed to attend the Games earlier this year.
And good news: She revealed to Cheddar that she'll be back for the 2026 Games, which will be held in Milan and Cortina, Italy.
"Yes, I am definitely planning on competing at the 2026 Olympics ... As of now, the plan is to most definitely go after a third medal." she said.
Randee Dawn (she/her) is an entertainment journalist and author based in Brooklyn. In addition to writing for TODAY.com, Variety and The Los Angeles Times, she's an author whose debut novel, Tune in Tomorrow, about a reality TV show run by mythic creatures, will publish in 2022. She's also the co-author of The Law & Order: SVU Unofficial Companion. When not interviewing the stars or dabbling in speculative fiction, she dreams of the next place she can travel to, or cuddles her Westie. More at RandeeDawn.com.