"Now that I think about it, I'm really glad I wasn't able to go", Kim told NBC Olympics previous year.
Her smooth style and big tricks have many news outlets calling her a "prodigy" and Sports Illustrated, Vogue and the Los Angeles Timeshave referred to her as "the Shaun White of snowboarding", because she's the only athlete since White to score a ideal 100 at the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. A number of Olympic sponsors have made her a cornerstone of their activations, and she's been featured heavily in NBC's lead-up marketing, even starring in her own Super Bowl commercial. We're like, oh, is she like a Korean rider?
"By the time I was six I would blow down the mountain and be sitting at the bottom of the lift, waiting for my dad to do all of his dainty turns and come meet me", Kim told Sports Illustrated. "You want to walk away having put down your best runs when it counts, and today I was unable to do that". There was one problem though: She was too young.
Her upward trajectory in the sport has continued, as she has used almost unparalleled amplitude and the most progressive tricks to become the best women's halfpipe rider in the world.
Her absence from the Sochi Games was noteworthy.
As a 15-year-old competing in the 2016 U.S. Grand Prix, Kim became the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s.
Kim has been working on them throughout the season, and whether she attempts them in Pyeongchang will depend on the quality of the halfpipe.
Kim, a four-time gold medalist at the X Games, is widely tipped to win the event with the final on Tuesday.
The first response to her tweet - Hey, aren't you competing - says it all.
The result: her third gold medal in four years at the event. Because of that, she had a long, drawn-out wait.
"I started asking myself 'What would actually make a difference?' What I can I pour my efforts into that would outlast my ability to perform".
Luckily, she found what she needed in the Olympic Village: churros. "I love that about her, because I look at what people will see when they see her, like oh, she's got all the right things that will help other people be successful".
In the meantime, Kim will graduate with her class at Mammoth High School in June.
"But I'll be OK with mango sorbet", Kim said.
And at the base of the halfpipe, where he always is, Jong Jin will see his daughter take the next, and so far biggest, step in the snowboarding journey they've been on together.