In a nail-biter finish on Sunday, American rider Chloe Kim claimed her 3rd career Dew Tour Superpipe win in her first return to the Dew Tour since 2018, beating out Spaniard Queralt Castellet and China’s Xuetong Cai in the final run of the competition.
Uncharacteristic falls in her first two runs left Kim way down in 7th place as she dropped in for Run 3, the last to drop after top qualifier Maddie Mastro was injured in a Run 1 crash and withdrew from the contest.
Stomping a frontside 1080 tail grab on her first wall in Run 3, then proceeding into a Cab 900 Indy, switch backside 540, Cab 1080 Weddle, and frontside 540 Indy did the trick, edging Kim ahead of Castellet by 1 point, 96.00 to 95.00.
“That was so stressful! I hate when I’m in that situation when it comes to the third and final run,” Kim said after the final. “I actually was thinking about backing off and not doing the Cab 10 but I’m so happy I did it. Just putting myself in those high-stress situations, especially with the Olympics coming up is pretty important. So, happy I was able to pull through.”
The win, paired with her win at the FIS World Cup event in Aspen in March 2021, also an Olympic qualifier, guarantees Kim a spot to represent Team U.S.A. in her second Olympics, to follow up on her gold medal in PyeongChang in 2018.
And she says she has more to give.
“I would rather, you know, land my first run ideally so I could build: I actually had a lot more I had planned and wanted to whip out a couple new tricks,” Kim said. “I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t do that but at the end of the day it’s a competition and you’ve got to land a run. I actually have three new tricks waiting for you: I think the Olympics will be the time.”
Castellet led for much of the competition, setting the bar high in Run 1 with a score of 93.00, then improving to 95.00 in Run 3. Her run opened with a stylish switch backside 540 Weddle, a Cab 720 melon, back-to-back 900s (frontside melon and backside Weddle), and ended with a floaty frontside 720 stalefish. Her new coach Danny Kass, himself a 2-time Olympic silver medalist, celebrated with her at the bottom of the pipe: Beijing 2022 will be Castellet’s 5th Olympic appearance representing Spain.
Xuetong Cai – her Dew Tour friends call her “Tongtong” – finished 3rd. Her Run 2 opened with a huge method air to set up for a frontside 900 frontside grab, backside 540 Weddle, melon straight air to fakie, and Cab 900 Weddle. Cai will be the home country favorite in Beijing in February, making her 4th Olympic appearance. She finished 5th at PyeongChang 2018, 6th at Sochi 2014, and 23rd at Vancouver 2010, then the youngest competitor in the field at 16.
Full Women’s Superpipe Final Results
1.) Chloe Kim, 96.00
2.) Queralt Castellet, 95.00
3.) Xuetong Cai, 89.00
4.) Sena Tomita, 86.00
5.) Ruki Tomita, 79.75
6.) Haruna Matsumoto, 73.50
7.) Maddie Mastro, 25.50
8.) Mitsuki Ono, 20.75