Seventeen-year-old American Chloe Kim dominated on the halfpipe at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. But she also dominated in the press room after she won a gold medal. She cracked jokes, bubbled over completing her lifelong dream as a teenager, and completely charmed the audience by dedicating her last run to her Korean grandmother. She teased her father, saying, “My dad didn’t cry at all, which I don’t get. I’m like: What are you doing?” Kim will compete in three more Winter Olympics and still be younger than this year’s men’s snowboard halfpipe gold medalist, Shaun White. But Kim is not alone in her age. Everywhere you look at PyeongChang, you found an extraordinarily young gold medalist. Like Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, 21, who became the youngest gold medalist in the history of cross-country skiing. Or Red Gerard, 17, from the U.S., who won gold gold in slopestyle snowboarding, then stole all of America’s hearts when his family declared its love for beer manufacturers. The U.S.’s Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, won a gold in an event that isn’t even her best event, the giant slalom. Same with Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka, 22, who won gold in the Super-G and skiing isn’t even her best sport. The young stars will remain in the spotlight for longer than ever with the help of social media. Sponsors will love people like Kim, who combines athletic greatness, charisma and authenticity.
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