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Volume 24 No. 177
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Chloe Kim Becomes Newest Olympic Star With Gold-Medal Performance

A Korean television station gave Kim the kind of extensive coverage usually reserved for home athletes
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Chloe Kim will "need to be added to the list" of household names at the Pyeongchang Games after the teenage U.S. snowboarder claimed Gold today in the women's halfpipe, according to Chris Almeida of THE RINGER. Kim is a "bonafide headliner" as well as a "promoter’s dream." She is a "smiley 17-year-old who tweets lame jokes and makes cracks about breakfast sandwiches during Olympic competition, a profile that will surely go over well on the post-Pyeongchang talk-show circuit." Kim’s dominance in the halfpipe "made the rest of the competition a rather dull affair." However, the "total evisceration of competition is how an individual transcends the sport." It is how the best Olympic athletes "become more than once-in-four-years faces on a promo for NBC," and Kim is "now on the Phelpsian path." Her face will be "everywhere" leading up to the '22 Beijing Games (THERINGER.com, 2/12). In DC, Adam Kilgore notes the "coronation of a new American Olympic darling occurred" with Kim's win, and she is "destined to become an even bigger star than she already is." Kim’s athletic "charisma and jaw-dropping talent" makes her appealing to the public, and even to a "broad audience with scant snowboarding knowledge, her surpassing ability is obvious" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/13). SI.com's Michael Rosenberg writes under the headline, "With An Endearing Personality And Unmatched Talent, Chloe Kim Emerges As The Star Of The Winter Olympics" (SI.com, 2/13). NBC's Todd Richards said, “If you don’t know who Chloe Kim is, I have a feeling you will be hearing that name a lot after this Winter Games” (“Winter Olympics,” NBC, 2/13).

YOU'RE A SHINING STAR: The AP's Will Graves noted Kim's win pushes her to a "level of stardom she's not quite sure she's prepared for" (AP, 2/12). The "next stop for Kim is a higher stratosphere of celebrity." She seems "certain to become the big name and face to emerge from these Olympics" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/13). With her Gold Medal, Kim's fame "will surely only soar higher into the stratosphere" (ABC.net.au, 2/13). Kim is now the "queen of snowboarding and, really, of these Olympics" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/13). She is the "marketing department's dream as the appealing face of these Games" (THETIMES.co.uk, 2/13). Kim "figures to become a breakout star in Pyeongchang" (L.A. TIMES, 2/13). USA TODAY's She "went from snowboarder to superstar" with the win (USA TODAY, 2/13). The "next great American Olympian has officially arrived" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/13). 

KOREAN APPEAL: Kim was born to Korean immigrants, and in Salt Lake City, Christopher Kamrani notes this technically is an "American gold," but it is "also for the Korean people." Local media in South Korea "runs Kim clips on TV news broadcasts daily." She had been "marketed heavily by NBC entering these Games," but the world last night "finally got to know" Kim (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 2/13). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Costa & Bachman note a Korean television station gave Kim the "kind of extensive coverage usually reserved for home athletes." Though the stands at Phoenix Snow Park "were not entirely filled, there was broad support for Kim from both Americans and Koreans in attendance" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/13). ESPN THE MAGAZINE's Alyssa Roenigk in a cover story notes Kim's father "believes her Korean marketing potential could reach the millions -- not to mention her haul back home." Seoul-based SEMA Sports Marketing agent Hwang Hyeran, who reps Kim, said, "Chloe can be really famous in Korea. There is much interest in her and much potential for her to have Korean sponsors" (ESPN THE MAGAZINE, 2/19 issue).

CREAM OF THE CROP: CNBC's Carl Quintanilla notes social media, "with all its perils, still provides an avenue for companies to approach the athletes." Kim in between her halfpipe runs tweeted she was hungry for ice cream and churros. That led to Ben & Jerry's and Oreo directly "coming to her." Quintanilla said of Ben & Jerry's, "You can imagine how much they would love to create a custom flavor for Chloe Kim" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 2/13). Quintanilla earlier this morning read a list of Kim’s sponsors and noted she is “working with some of the biggest companies in the world" at just 17 years old. He said, "There’s a good chance she’s going to have a lot success outside of the sport having won this Gold so early on. ... Corporate American is going to be searching for some involvement with Chloe Kim” ("Squawk Box,' CNBC, 2/13).

BOOST TO SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: USA TODAY notes Kim had "just over 15,000 followers on Twitter before her first run." After she was done, she had "gained more than 100,000 and her numbers continue to climb." Twitter Communications Coordinator Brenden Lee said that between 8:00-11:00pm ET last night, as NBC "aired her performance live, Kim was mentioned more than 150,000 times on the social media site." Kim has 330,000 followers on Instagram "and rising" (USATODAY.com, 2/13). ESPN's Mike Golic said, "This is sort of how starved we are for personality from athletes and someone being forthright. ... She gained over 70,000 followers last night just by tweeting about churros" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 2/13).