Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14

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Chloe Kim became the youngest Winter X Games gold medalist ever, overtaking the greatest women’s snowboarder of all time on her final run in the halfpipe final Saturday night.

Kim, who was born in 2000 and too young for the Sochi Olympics, scored 92 points in her third and final run (video here) in Aspen, Colo. She pushed four-time reigning X Games champion Kelly Clark to silver after Clark scored 90 in her first run. Two-time Olympic medalist Torah Bright was third.

So, Chloe Kim, how does it feel?

“My face kind of hurts right now,” Kim said on ESPN.

Kim, who won silver behind Clark last year, chipped a tooth in an earlier practice fall, according to ESPN, and wore a Nelly-like bandage on her left cheek.

Clark, 31 and a three-time Olympic medalist, soared more than 16 feet above the halfpipe, reportedly a new women’s X Games record. She won her 12th X Games halfpipe medal, a record for a man or woman.

Kim was not alive when Clark and White made their Winter X Games debuts 15 years ago.

“In years to come, I’ll be able to look at women’s snowboarding and know that not only is it in good hands, but it’s in the hands of someone I’m proud of,” Clark said of Kim and others before the competition, according to The Associated Press and USA Today.

Kim has said she considers Clark an idol, standing in long lines to get Clark’s autograph and being mesmerized and speechless to ride a chairlift with Clark, according to the AP.

“All I could think was, ‘I’m going to get Kelly Clark powers now,’” Kim joked to the AP when retelling the chairlift story.

Earlier, Olympic bronze medalist Nick Goepper won a third straight ski slopestyle title, edging Olympic champion Joss Christensen 93.66 to 90.66. Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy was seventh. Christensen won his first career X Games medal.

Goepper failed to qualify outright and only made the eight-man field for the final after another skier dropped out.

Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom won the women’s ski slopestyle. Dahlstrom, who was fifth in Sochi, scored 90.33 in the best of her three runs. U.S. Olympian Keri Herman was second at 86.66, followed by Canadian Olympic champion Dara Howell and U.S. Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan.

Lindsey Jacobellis wins ninth Winter X Games title

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported Kelly Clark won her 10th X Games halfpipe medal.

Jordan Wilimovsky qualifies for Tokyo Olympics in open-water swimming

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Open-water swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky is the first male athlete on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.

Wilimovsky, who placed fourth and fifth in two distance events at the 2016 Rio Games, joined fellow open-water swimmers Haley Anderson and Ashley Twichell in qualifying for Tokyo via the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Wilimovsky, 25, placed fifth in the 10km event on Wednesday. Anderson and Twichell were second and sixth in the women’s 10km on Sunday. Top-10 finishers at worlds qualified for Tokyo.

German Florian Wellbrock won by two tenths of a second over French Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier after 1 hour, 47 minutes in the water. Wilimovsky led with 600 meters left. Olympic 1500m freestyle champion Gregorio Paltrinieri also qualified for Tokyo in the open-water 10km by finishing sixth.

The other American, David Heron, was 25th, missing the Olympic team, but he can try again in the 1500m free in the pool at the Olympic trials next June.

Wilimovsky missed a medal in the Rio Olympic 1500m freestyle in the pool by 4.17 seconds, taking fourth. Three days later, he was fifth in the open-water 10km, 1.2 seconds out of bronze.

Wilimovsky, a Malibu native who redshirted at Northwestern to train for Rio, earned gold and silver in the 10km at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships.

A U.S. man has never earned an Olympic open-water medal. The event debuted at Beijing 2008.

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Ted Ligety scales back race schedule

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Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety is scaling back his race schedule as he enters the final portion of his decorated Alpine skiing career.

Ligety, a 34-year-old who has endured many injuries since his last World Cup win in 2015, said he will race strictly giant slaloms this year. The World Cup season starts in late October.

“So it’ll be a little bit easier schedule on my body,” Ligety said in a KPCW radio interview in his native Park City, Utah. “I’ll be able to be home a little bit more as well, and then we see. I mean, I would like to keep going as long as I feel like I can win races and feel healthy. That’s really the biggest part, and nowadays I have a 2-year-old son, and there’s more factors than there was when I was 25 years old.”

Ligety, nicknamed “Mr. GS” for his giant slalom prowess, has a 2014 Olympic gold medal and three world titles in that event.

He also owns an Olympic combined title from 2006 and world titles in the super-G and combined from 2013, but he hasn’t won a race in one of those disciplines since January 2014. And since then, he has undergone back and knee surgeries and dealt with hip problems.

“There’s a lot of hard miles on my body up to this point, but I’m still enjoying it,” said Ligety, whose 321 World Cup starts are the most among active Olympic medalists now that Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal have retired. “Right now, I feel really healthy and trying to get to a point where I feel I can win races. That’s the goal right now.”

Ligety, a four-time Olympian, has not publicly committed to a 2022 Olympic run.

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