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.

IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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