American snowboarder Chloe Kim had not competed in 22 months, but that didn’t matter. Despite falling on her first trick Saturday, Kim nailed a frontside 1080 nearly an hour later to win the Laax Open in Switzerland, scoring an 89.75 on her second of two runs.
When Kim fell on her first attempt, she was in fifth place of six riders.
Kim, who became the youngest Olympic halfpipe champ at 17 years old in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, is preparing to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. She is the only woman who has landed back-to-back 1080s, a feat she has not attempted since March 2019 when she participated in the Burton U.S. Open.
Kim defeated a Laax field that included Spanish snowboarder Queralt Castellet, who was a silver medalist at the 2015 World Championships.
Castellet won the 2020 Winter X Games in Aspen when Kim was off for the season while taking freshman classes at Princeton. Next week Kim will compete for her fifth X Games Aspen halfpipe title, inching her one shy of Kelly Clark’s female record.