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Chloe Kim to take year off from snowboarding competition

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Chloe Kim will not compete this snowboard season to focus on freshman classes at Princeton but plans to return next year and go for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

“It was a really tough decision,” Kim said in a YouTube video, noting she had been competing at a pro level since age 12. “I do not hate competing whatsoever. I love it so much, but at the same time, I wanted to kind of explore life outside of that scene for a year. … Competing is really, really stressful.

“I need some Chloe time. I need to be a human. I need to be a normal kid for once because I haven’t been able to do that my whole life.”

Kim, 19, announced a month after the Olympics that she was accepted to Princeton but deferred enrollment until this year. She was expected to juggle competing this Olympic cycle with classes.

“I want to be in good health for the next Olympics as well as for the rest of my life, so I think this was a good decision,” said Kim, who is in a classroom setting for the first time since seventh grade, after which she was home-schooled. “A lot of people, after the Olympics, they do take a year off from competing, and I didn’t do that last year.”

Kim, who in PyeongChang became the youngest Olympic halfpipe gold medalist, extended her dominance last season. She swept the Dew Tour, X Games and world championships before breaking her ankle in a minor fall and taking second at the season-ending Burton U.S. Open.

“When you kind of get stuck in the same routine, over and over and over again, year after year after year, it gets pretty hard,” she said. “I felt like I lost a part of myself in a sense where I didn’t feel like I had an actual life outside of snowboarding. Which is completely fine, because I love snowboarding so much and it is my life, but it made me a little nervous thinking that my life was 100 percent snowboarding, and, after the Olympics last year, I took my ACTs, SATs, studied and I did pretty well and I got into my dream school.”

In Kim’s absence, the top halfpipe rider may be PyeongChang Olympic teammate Maddie Mastro, who earned bronze at worlds then won the U.S. Open last season.

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Chloe Kim, Princeton student, finds college transition difficult

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Chloe Kim‘s transition to Princeton student life has been difficult, especially in the dining hall, where she notices people staring and taking pictures of her.

“College is OK, I guess,” the 2018 Olympic snowboard halfpipe champion said in a video posted on social media on Friday. “I’m going to fill you in a bit. I don’t think a lot of people understand that I’m a legit student. I’m trying to study. And, like, I would really appreciate it if I had a comfortable space here, I guess, but I don’t.

“As soon as I go to the dining hall, people stare at me. They whisper. They take pictures of me without me knowing. I don’t like it. I don’t think anyone would like if you were just trying to have a meal and you see it. Like, I see that. I see it. I’m a human. It’s been really, really hard to transition, but hopefully it gets better. And if not, then, [sarcastic] yay. So to anyone that’s here at Princeton and sees me at the dining hall or anywhere, please just remember that I’m a human being and I want a true, fun college experience. I would just really appreciate it if everyone respected my privacy and let me live my life. So thank you.”

Kim, 19, announced a month after the Olympics that she was accepted to Princeton but deferred enrollment until this year. She is expected to juggle competing this Olympic cycle with classes.

“I’d love to live just a normal life there, where maybe people don’t recognize me and get to know me not because of what I do, but just because of me,” Kim said in February, according to The New York Times. “Anyone who is going to Princeton next year, just be cool.”

Kim, who in PyeongChang became the youngest Olympic halfpipe gold medalist, extended her dominance last season. She swept the Dew Tour, X Games and world championships before breaking her ankle and taking second at the season-ending Burton U.S. Open.

“Princeton was my dream school before snowboarding took off,” Kim said last winter, according to The Associated Press. “I just liked the name when I was really young and didn’t know about college or anything.”

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Shaun White says he’s going to world skateboarding championships

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Shaun White says he’s going to the world skateboarding championships in Brazil in September as he contemplates whether to go for a Tokyo 2020 run in the new Olympic sport.

“I’ve been watching the competitions lately and got really inspired,” White said on TODAY on Tuesday, one year out from the Olympics. “I thought it would be amazing to go compete at the world championships in September. … First steps are first, see what happens [before an Olympic decision].”

White said last July that he would lighten his snowboard schedule as he returns to skateboarding competition.

White, 32, entered his first skateboard contest in years in September and called his performance “pretty terrible,” but not surprising given it was his first-ever bowl event.

White earned five X Games skateboard medals between 2005 and 2011, but all of those came in vert, which is not on the Olympic program.

“Honestly, I am here to see how things go,” White said at the September event in Marseille, according to Agence France-Presse. “I haven’t made a decision either way [on 2020], I just figured, want to have some fun, skateboard, come to France and then hopefully make a decision come new year if I’m really going to go for it or not.”

White hasn’t competed in snowboarding since the PyeongChang Olympics, his longest break in that sport.

White has said he would like to go for a fifth Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. He would be 35, older than any previous Olympic snowboarding champion. He’s already the oldest halfpipe medalist.

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