The father of U.S. snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim had a message for reporters after her spectacular Olympic gold medal win on Tuesday.
Pointing to himself, Kim Jong-jin said “American dream” before letting out a cheer, according to The Associated Press. A day earlier, the elder Kim told the “Today” show that his daughter was his American dream. It was a sentiment that had moved many fans to tears.
The younger Kim, who dominated women’s snowboard halfpipe event on Tuesday, told reporters after her victory that she “did it for my family.”
“My dad has definitely sacrificed a lot for me and I don’t know if I could do it, if I was in his shoes,” the 17-year-old said, according to Reuters. “Leaving your life behind and chasing this dream because your kid is passionate about this sport. I think today I did it for my family and I am so grateful to them.”
Kim’s dad, who emigrated from South Korea to California in 1982, quit his engineering job about a decade ago to support his daughter’s budding snowboarding career. Since then, he’s devoted himself to helping her succeed ― though he’s downplayed his sacrifices as “normal for all parents.”
When Kim was in middle school, her dad would drive her six hours to Mammoth Mountain every weekend so she could train there.
“What would happen is that he would carry me out of bed,” Kim recalled in a 2016 interview. “I would wake up in a new spot every time without even knowing what happened.”
When they got to the mountain, Kim’s dad would strap on his own board and ride by her side. “He never knew much about snowboarding, but he did everything he could,” Tommy Czeschin, a former U.S. Snowboarding coach, told Bleacher Report last month.
On Tuesday, Kim’s parents and extended family, including her 75-year-old grandmother, were there to watch the teen clinch the gold medal at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“To see Chloe compete in the Olympics, it’s going to be…