Chloe Kim has gone from relatively unknown snowboarder a little over a month ago to having her own Barbie doll.
Kim was one of 17 modern day or historical women who have been honored by Barbie with their own doll made ahead of International Women’s Day. The goal was to make dolls for women who “have broken boundaries in their fields and have been an inspiration to the next generation of girls.”
In addition to Kim, who won a gold medal in the women’s halfpipe at the Olympics, other athletes were honored too. The list includes golfer Lorena Ochoa, soccer player Sara Gama, boxer Nicola Adams, and volleyball player Hui Ruoqi.
Kim does not turn 18 until April, so to have a Barbie doll made after her at the age of 17 is one heck of an accomplishment, not to mention very deserving — she was one of the breakout stars of the Olympics for very good reason.
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang are in the books. Norway led the way in the medal count, bringing home 38 in total. Germany, including a surprising silver by their men’s hockey team, was next, and the U.S. was fourth with 23 medals.
From start to finish, there were shocking moments, controversies, messages of hope and peace, and some of the greatest athletic feats in the history of mankind.
Here’s a look at the 15 best moments from the 2018 Games:
15. North Korea and South Korea unite during opening ceremonies
Much was made over the North Koreans and South Koreans finding enough common ground so that both could compete in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. And while some of it may have been political posturing, at least for one brief moment, the two sides found peace and marched proudly under one flag during the opening ceremonies. It was in stark contrast to the 1988 Games held in Seoul, where the North Koreans not only refused to compete, but carried out a terrorist attack on a South Korean jetliner 10 months prior to the opening ceremonies. And considering North Korea could be seen from the mountain slopes in the Gangwon Province, it was particularly symbolic — a memorable and hopeful way to open the games.
The Olympics are a great generator of breakout stars. The athletes generally only gain major attention every four years, meaning new potential stars are coming onto the scene all the time. Even older athletes are finding success in the Olympics after battling obscurity and other obstacles earlier in their careers.
Here are 10 star athletes whose presence at the PyeongChang Olympics have gained them newfound fame and support.
1) Chloe Kim
It takes more than dominance in your sport to become a true Olympic breakout star — you must have a personality, too. Chloe Kim, gold medalist in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, has both in spades. Kim flew to gold in the halfpipe event, then tweeted her way into our hearts with a series of extremely relatable food tweets. That personality should serve her well, and given that she’s just 17 years old, we should be seeing her at future Winter Olympics for years to come.
Chloe Kim went from really, really good snowboarder to Olympic legend overnight, and naturally people are now coming out of the woodwork to congratulate the gold medalist. But if you weren’t nice to her before, Kim doesn’t want to hear from you now.
On Saturday, Kim sent a hilarious tweet about people who were mean to her when she was in kindergarten trying to be her “bestie” now that she’s taking home some hardware.
People acting like my bestie after the Olympics. Like remember when you took a sip of my apple juice in kindergarten, still salty bout that
Funny comments are nothing new for Kim, as the 17-year-old has endeared fans with her awesome and timely tweets in addition to her halfpipe skills. Let her latest quip be a message to any Johnny-Come-Lately out there: Don’t even bother.
One of the biggest breakout stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics has been Chloe Kim. The 17-year-old snowboarder won gold in the women’s halfpipe earlier during the week, and her humorous and friendly personality have endeared her to fans.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, all of Kim’s current endorsement deals will expire this spring when she turns 18 (her birthday is April 23). Rovell says she currently has deals with Nike, Burton, Oakley, Toyota, Visa, Mondelez (Ritz and Oreo), Samsung, Monster Energy and Amore Pacific’s Laneige.
Kim’s father wanted his daughter to have control of her endorsements when she turns 18, which just so happens to come at a perfect time — two months after she’s won a gold medal. Kim’s brand value and popularity may very well be peaking right now, so signing new deals at this time should allow her to command top dollar. It’s like an MLB player hitting free agency right after winning regular season and World Series MVP at age 25.
Ben & Jerry’s, for instance, replied to Kim, and are now in contact with her management about sending an entire cooler of ice cream.
“It was pretty straightforward,” said Jay Curley, the company’s marketing manager, via Abha Bhattarai of the Washington Post. “We pay attention to what people are saying online, and we like to send out ice cream to our fans, whether they’re regular folks or celebrities.”
Kim also tweeted about churros, which led Scott Porter, owner of Utah-based San Diablo Artisan Churros, to offer the snowboarder free churros for life.
“As soon as I heard ‘churros,’ it was like ‘bing, bing, bing,'” Porter said. “I stopped everything I was doing and realized this was a golden opportunity to connect with her. It’s not everyday that churros are in the spotlight.”
Fast food chain Roy Rogers saw a marketing opportunity in their reply.
“Chloe Kim won the gold medal, and we have a Gold Rush chicken sandwich that’s one of our most popular sandwiches,” said Jim Plamondon, co-president of the chain. “We just thought: Gold Rush, gold medal, it’s a logical connection.”
Radio host Patrick Connor has been fired by KNBR for his inappropriate comment about 17-year-old Chloe Kim.
Connor just started a job on Barstool Radio on SiriusXM, which is separate from his duties on Bay Area sports radio station KNBR. While co-hosting “Dialed-In with Dallas Braden,” — a show that was two days old — Connor called Kim a “hot piece of a–.”
“She’s fine as hell! If she was 18, you wouldn’t be ashamed to say that she’s a little hot piece of a–. And she is. She is adorable. I’m a huge Chloe Kim fan,” Connor said.
His comment came the day after Kim won gold at the Winter Olympics in the women’s halfpipe. Connor initially showed no remorse for his comments, but he apologized on Wednesday morning.
Yesterday in a weird attempt to make people laugh I failed. My comments about @chloekimsnow were more than inappropriate they were lame & gross. Im truly sorry Chloe. You’ve repped our country so brilliantly. I apologize to my colleagues & the listeners for being a total idiot.
KNBR initially said Connor had been suspended, but then program director Jeremiah Crowe came down even harder, saying that Connor is no longer with the station.
#Breaking– per #KNBR Program director Jeremiah Crowe: "Be advised that Patrick Connor is no longer with Cumulus Media." Radio personality known as 'P-con' dismissed after crass/sexual comments directed at #ChloeKim.
Though his comments cost him his job with KNBR, Connor does not look like he will lose his gig at Barstool Radio. Sticking true to what fans have come to expect from Barstool, the company’s founder says they won’t let “crybabies” dictate their actions.
Nothing is more important @barstoolsports than trying to bring humor to our fans lives. Occasionally we miss the mark. Most of the time we don’t. Regardless we won’t let advertisers, crybabies and jealous people dictate what we do. You don’t like us? Don’t listen, watch or read. https://t.co/twYZRJGZlr
Braden addressed the remarks during his show on Wednesday. He called Connor’s comments “an egregious professional error. It is nothing to make light of. We understand the severity and seriousness of the comments made. … that is not who we are.”
You can hear Connor’s original comments in the video below:
Barstool Sports’ founder addressed the comment in a blog post and called it “sort of a stupid comment.”
“Keep in mind this show is 2 days old. [Patrick Connor] has been working for us for less than 48 hours. Yeah it was sort of a stupid comment but to dedicate an entire blog to it?
Barstool Sports has endeared themselves to their fans with edgy, non-politically correct, and sometimes offensive commentary, so their fans are probably used to this. However, most people would agree that this kind of remark crosses a line.
The 17-year-old American snowboarder made headlines at the PyeongChang Games on Tuesday by winning gold in the women’s halfpipe event. It was a dazzling performance that included two unreal runs of 93.75 and 98.25.
What made the display perhaps even more impressive was what several users on Twitter noticed during her gold medal run: Kim appeared to have a phone-shaped bulge in her front left pocket. That’s right, Kim may have won Olympic gold while carrying her phone in her pocket the entire time.
Chloe Kim was one of the biggest stories at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday when she dominated the women’s halfpipe to take home a gold medal, and the 17-year-old has to be pretty stoked about one of the shout-outs she got on Twitter.
NBC Olympics tweeted an awesome photo of one of the stunts that helped Kim win the halfpipe event, and even actress Reese Witherspoon couldn’t help but admire it.
Witherspoon was likely referring to the popular Idina Menzel song “Defying Gravity,” which is the signature song from the Broadway musical “Wicked.” After what we saw on Tuesday, it is a pretty fitting anthem for Kim.
In addition to being ridiculously good at snowboarding, Kim has also endeared fans with her great sense of humor during the Olympics. We’re not surprised they’re taking note in Hollywood, too.