Olympic athletes seem low-key superhuman: while the rest of us pizza our skis downhill, these living huck-machines are linking 1080’s in the superpipe. Easy to wonder whether they’re in fact the athletic version of cyborgs.
Then you have social media which, you know, can reduce us to meme-generators and like-button mashers.
But it turns out that social media and Olympians gel as well as a beer n’ shot combo. The athletes’ presences on social media is revealing these elite sports folk to be human like the rest of us.
Particularly America’s favorite supergroms: Red Gerard and Chloe Kim. These two are both seventeen years old, and both snowboarding gold medalists in the 2018 Pyeonchang Olympics. Red won Men’s Slopestyle and Chloe won Women’s Halfpipe.
Now, there are plenty of seventeen year old snowboard groms. Grom meaning: a kid obsessively devoted to an extreme sport and the surrounding lifestyle. Your standard grom can be seen flicking off kooks from the lift, chugging canned beverages of all sorts, and hucking their meat in the terrain park. Snowboard groms are extreme, but not necessarily extremely self-disciplined.
In short, any kid who brought some robotic veneer of competitiveness to the Olympics, is no grom.
Which is why the coverage of Red and Chloe feels like a morning of fresh powder. Chloe tweeted during competition that she was “hangry.” The day before she tweeted about her ice cream craving.
Red, in perhaps the truest grom fashion, overslept the morning of his event and couldn’t find his jacket. He borrowed his homie’s, bossed up, won slopestyle gold and exclaimed “holy fuck” on live television. He also revealed his homies were shotgunning beers back home to celebrate his victory.
Fighting hanger, oversleeping, shotgunning beers, and sending it recklessly are core elements of gromhood. But they’re not Olympian activities. Via social media and its filtration through mainstream outlets, we’ve gotten a deeply human picture of Chloe and Red.
Turns out they’re not robotic medal machines, nor typical groms: they’re supergroms.
Congrats on the medals you bunch of young legends.
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