Everyone has fallen in love with John Jin Kim, the father of Olympic Snowboarder Chloe Kim, who proudly waved his pink, homemade sign in support of his daughter and brought both a tear and endearing smile to viewers.
You wanna make me cry? Show me this picture of Chloe Kim's dad right before she hits the half-pipe. Yea, that'll do it. pic.twitter.com/IilYKUz8xr
— Rebecca (@BeckksSG) February 13, 2018
After the 17-year-old phenom shredded the half pipe to bring home an Olympic Gold Medal, and in turn, shredded twitter by tweeting about breakfast sandwiches, ice cream and churros --growing her following from 15,000 to 260,000 --she has become a budding megastar in Pyeongchang.
But perhaps the most important part moment of her Gold medal performance was the hug she shared with her dad after the run
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 13, 2018
That hug was a culmination of the countless hours the pair spent training, hoping and dreaming for this moment. “When I came to the United States, this was my American hope,” Jong Jin Kim told Bleacher Report in Korean . “Now, this is my American dream.”
Chloe Kim’s father says this made all his sacrifice worth it. Pointed to himself, said “American dream!” and whooped. #pyeongchang2018
— Jake Seiner (@Jake_Seiner) February 13, 2018
However, her dad's passion and drive digs far deeper than snowboarding, John Jim Kim's story starts as a 26-year-old South Korea, a country a left to pursue his American dream.
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"It was a dream country," he told ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk , "a totally different world."
At one point, he had $100 in his pocket, but he worked, both to learn the language enough to navigate with his trusty hand-held dictionary, and to earn a college degree in manufacturing engineering technology.
American Dream: Dad of gold medal winning snowboarder Chloe Kim came to LA from So.Korea in 1982 w $800. Got job as a dishwasher at fast-food franchise, saved money, got an engineering degree. Drove Chloe 5 hours on wkends 2 mountains so she could practice https://t.co/NZeq2iISLg
— Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani) February 13, 2018
Nearly 36 years later, he's accomplished both, and stands in South Korea a much different man. He's a proud, loving father and a super fan of an Olympic Athlete that is the perfect mixture of his South Korean heritage and his American dream.
an american family pic.twitter.com/p7JNKqomzK
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) February 13, 2018