— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 13, 2018
On Tuesday, snowboarder Chloe Kim became the second 17-year-old American to win gold in the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as Red Gerard won gold in the men’s slopestyle just a few days earlier.
Kim’s story is one for the record books. The daughter of Korean immigrants, she was good enough on the halfpipe to make it to the Sochi Games in 2014. But at just 13 years old, she was too young to make the team.
Instead, she charged onto the Olympic scene just miles from where her parents grew up.
But that wasn’t all.
ESPN reported that Kim and her parents are convinced there was a reason she was forced to sit out the Sochi Games and that the wait made her even better:
Those four years she waited, she and her father, Jong, believe were necessary to allow her to become old enough and strong enough to handle all that comes with Olympic competition. He and Chloe’s mom, Boran, call their daughter “Ipugi,” a hybrid Korean word they say means “baby girl dragon.” Chloe was born in the year of the dragon, or the “imgui.” According to Korean myth, a dragon is born a snake, waits 1,000 years then, on a stormy day, goes up into the sky and becomes a full-fledged dragon.
“Chloe didn’t wait 1,000 years. She waited four,” Jong told me last year, foreshadowing Tuesday’s competition. “At the Olympics, the ipugi will become a real dragon with her big power, the gold medal.”