Chloe Kim began her quest for the golden story on Tuesday and she’s off to a great start.
Kim nailed her first run with a score of 87.75, giving her an early lead in the competition.
Kim was the second of 22 competitors to show up for the first run.
Each athlete has two runs to score as many points as possible in the qualifying round. Twelve athletes out of the 22 will qualify for the final.
Watch it below:
Kim will be the first to hit the slopes on Tuesday as the 21-year-old seeks to qualify in the women’s halfpipe, her only event at the Games. Kim won gold at the 2018 Games in the halfpipe when she was just 17 years old.
Kim is heavily favored to defend her gold medal. Since becoming the youngest woman to win an Olympic gold medal in snowboarding in 2018, her skills have only improved. Kim won X Games Aspen superpipe gold in 2019 and 2021, and she added World Championship halfpipe gold medals in 2019 and 2021.
If Kim wins, she will become the first to win multiple, consecutive gold medals in women’s halfpipe. Challengers include a teammate and reigning world runner-up Maddie Mastrodouble world champion Cai Xuetong of China and winner of the X Games 2020 Queralt-Castellet from Spain.
If Kim makes it through to the qualifying round, she will compete in the halfpipe final at 7:30 p.m. CT Wednesday — again in prime time on NBC.