"I do what I do solely because I love it, and that's all the motivation you need"
Olympic Gold Medalist Chloe Kim has discussed the pressures of fame and representation
At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at only 17-years-old. She went on to win an ESPY award for the Best Female Athlete of 2018.
Kim, who once publicly wrote a touching letter for mother’s day, said her father also supported her as she grew up.
“[My parents]y always thought if you worked hard you’d be successful,” the 19-year-old snowboarder said. “My dad never quit or let me give up or anything like that. I just like what I do, it was never hard to motivate myself. I always wanted to do more. If I didn’t like what I did, I’d be miserable in the mountains. I do what I do solely because I love it, and that’s all the motivation you need.”
When asked about her responsibility in terms of Asian American representation, Kim said she needs to be careful.
“Every time I’m stepping outside, I have to make sure I’m putting my best foot forward,” the Californian said. “That’s hard sometimes. I ask people not to be so harsh. It has even affected my family. My mom’s doing this knitting class and said she has to be careful, she’s worried she might say something weird. We’re working on it as a collective.”
For Kim, the difficulty comes when she is having a bad day. “Sometimes when I have a bad day, I’ll have to lock myself inside,” she explained. I” can’t have a bad day. It’s so easy now for something to go wrong. Someone will say, ‘I met Chloe, she did this, she’s a terrible person.’ If you have a bad day, you’re not always going to be the nicest.”
“It gets frustrating. I don’t owe anyone anything but it feels like I do. I try to be as nice as possible, but sometimes you still get stepped on. I try to be nice to everyone. There are moments where I’ve met fans and it gives me bad anxiety, but I’m getting better at adapting to it, and working on it.”
“Like right now, I’m sitting at this restaurant and I have eyes on me. I’m working on accepting that that’s my life now. It’s always going to be like that, I’m always going to be judged. Sometimes I’m like, ‘damn, I wish I didn’t tweet about churros that one time.'”