Chloe Kim Talks About Coping With Mental Health Issues

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Fatima Araos

Chloe Kim has a lot to contend with – fame, the pressures of her sport, media scrutiny and being Asian-American – and all of that undoubtedly takes a toll on her mental health. The 21-year-old snowboarding sensation has been training since she was 4, started competing at 6, found instant global fame after winning two golds at the 2018 Winter Olympics while also receiving hate on social media because of that fame. Plus, she’s navigating life at a time when anti-Asian racism is in full swing.

How does she cope? Keep scrolling to find out.

Post-Olympic Fame

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In an interview with People, the Korean-American athlete recounted, “I was used to getting recognized on the mountain. Everyone there knows the story, but it never happened when I wasn't on the mountain. Then after the Olympics, it was happening all the time everywhere. And it got really, really overwhelming. No one really prepared me for that.”

In 2019, Kim enrolled at Princeton and took a break from snowboarding because of an injury. Then in 2020, the pandemic and lockdown happened.

Therapy During Lockdown

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It was during lockdown that the halfpipe star turned to therapy to cope with her issues. “It's been a big improvement in my mental health," she told Shape. "I'm learning to open up more and communicate my feelings with people around me.”

Her hiatus from her sport made her realize that she needed “to be more respectful of my mental health and my time. I think I wasn't able to. I didn't give myself enough personal time and was just going straight into work, work, work, work, work. It just made me go crazy. So I was like, 'I can't do it anymore.' I definitely have anxiety,” she said to People.

Music, Plants And Food

On a lighter note, Kim also shared with Shape what she normally does to keep herself entertained, like singing, taking care of plants and cooking.

The top snowboarder is a fan of karaoke, and it was that love for music that got her cast in The Masked Singer. She likes gardening as well and can get “stuck in the plant section for two hours” while shopping. Also, the US-born daughter of immigrants loves food, especially Korean barbecue, saying, “I have this crazy workout, so I'm like, I deserve to eat.” She describes her cooking skills as a “superpower.”

‘In A Much Better Place’

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The Olympic athlete is now wise about prioritizing her mental health. “I felt pressured to be perfect all the time, and it drained me. I was genuinely angry for a while because I was so concerned about what everyone else would think about me. It became toxic,” she said. “That's when I realized, I need to take better care of myself, and if I don't want to do something, I can't force myself to do it. It was very empowering for me, feeling like I finally had more control over my life. Right now I'm in a much better place.”