Kelly Clark

Snowboarding: Chloe Kim leads changing of the U.S. guard

Snowboarding: Chloe Kim leads changing of the U.S. guard

The first time they met, Chloe Kim was in awe. And why not? Kelly Clark was, after all, an Olympic gold medalist and one of best snowboarders in the world.

“My parents were, like, ‘Oh my gosh, you touched Kelly Clark’s jacket,’” Kim said of that day, nearly 10 years ago, in the lift line at Mammoth Mountain.

Kim said she felt like the luckiest girl in the world to get to ride up the chairlift with Clark.

These days, the friendship remains strong, and those rides to the top lead to much grander pursuits.

At 17, Kim is the favorite to win the Olympic halfpipe contest being held in South Korea, the country where her parents grew up. At 34 — yes, double Kim’s age —...

57°