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Chloe Kim speaks out on this heartbreaking 2022 Winter Olympics rule for parents of athletes

Chloe Kim thinks of her family as she competes for her second gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

After her spectacular debut at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, all eyes are on the 21-year-old snowboarder who is arguably the sport’s greatest female competitor of all time. At her first Winter Olympics, 17-year-old Chloe was accompanied by her father, Jong Jin Kimand his mother, Boran Yun Kim. But this time around, the halfpipe event star won’t be able to watch the crowd and see her parents cheering her on.

As with the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, organizers of this year’s Winter Games have banned all international spectators from attending the events, including parents of athletes. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the recent surge of the Omicron variant, the host country has implemented strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which only allow mainland Chinese residents to attend. .

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Talk with People, Chloe explained how this rule has affected her and others around her. As fans may know, the California native shot to fame from the age of 14, earning impressive accolades at the X Games, World Champions, Youth Olympics and Olympic Games.

“I was really disappointed that my family couldn’t join us in Beijing, but I was grateful that they were able to attend my first Games,” she told the magazine. “I really feel for anyone who might be at their first Olympics and doesn’t have family to share that experience with. But yeah, I think the biggest hurdle might be not having my parents. I mean, they’re my #1 fans. I always look forward to seeing their faces at the bottom of the pipe, encouraging me.

Ahead of the Winter Games Opening Ceremony on February 4, Chloe released a one-minute P&G film on social networks dedicated to his two parents. The video, titled “Always There,” features never-before-seen family videos and recreated special moments.

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Reacting to the short heartfelt photo, fans of the snowboarder rallied around her in the Instagram comments section. Many people shared heart emojis, crying emojis, and fire emojis after being overwhelmed with emotions. “What a tribute ❤️,” one person wrote. “❤️❤️❤️😭 😭 😭 Wow so beautiful,” added another. “Aww I’m in tears ❤️,” another fan said.

While Chloe would love to see her dad and mum supporting her with handmade signs on the sidelines, she’s also found the silver lining – knowing they’re just a phone call away.

“I started competing without them slowly. I hate it, but I knew it would be important for me to get over it,” she told the publication. “Whenever I competed without my parents there, I always called them, I always called my dad when I panicked. Even if they are not there in person with me, they are still there. I can always count on them to support me. I could always ask them for advice. They don’t need to be there for me to feel safe.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes