Chloe Kim's Dog Helps Her Through The Ruff Times And The Gold Medals Alike
A gold medal for Reese!
Chloe Kim may be best known as a two-time Olympic snowboarding gold medalist, but she’s definitely a “proud dog mom” when it comes to speaking about her Australian shepherd pup Reese. “Seeing her happy makes me so happy, and I think it’s that boost of serotonin that I need on a daily basis,” the athlete says. “We’ll always play in the snow and she loves it. We adventure together,” Kim shares.
Anyone who’s seen Kim’s famous “hangry” tweets — posted right before she won her first Olympic gold in 2018 — knows that the snowboarding star values a good snack. So it’s no surprise the Olympian named her now 6-year-old dog after candy, Reese’s Pieces to be exact. Kim says the name was inspired by her dog’s spots that reminded her of the colorful sweets. “When I got her as a puppy, she looked like a Reese's Pieces,” she says. “I actually didn't have a name for her until I saw her, and then I decided to go with Reese.”
As of 2022, she co-parents Reese with her boyfriend, skateboarder Evan Berle, with whom she shares a four-bedroom home in LA. “My boyfriend’s so great because he actually wakes up really early, so he typically feeds [Reese] breakfast and then I take care of her dinner. We have great parenting skills — maybe. I wish Reese could speak on that,” Kim laughs. “My life has changed quite drastically since I’ve gotten Reese. Obviously I don’t have a child or anything, so it’s actually really nice to have someone [like Reese] to take care of.”
But Reese takes care of her in turn — she got the Aussie shepherd as an 8-week-old puppy in 2016, during a time when the snowboarder needed a boost. “I got Reese when I was kind of at an all-time low, just not doing too well, pretty unhappy,” Kim says. “I just needed some support, and that’s why I decided to get Reese.”
With all the pressures of being an Olympic champion, Kim has openly spoken about her struggles with mental health. “It's unfair to be expected to be perfect, and I'm not perfect in any way. But I think after my last Olympics, I put that pressure on myself to be perfect at all times,” Kim said at a press conference in Beijing in February. “I would be really sad and depressed all the time when I was home … I was hurting the people I love the most by doing that.” The 21-year-old California native was only 17 when she took home Olympic gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and made history as the youngest woman to win a gold medal in the women’s snowboard halfpipe event. She impressed fans again in February 2022 at the Beijing Winter Olympics when she crushed it on the halfpipe and swooped up a second gold medal.
But Reese helps her take the deep breaths she needs. “It brings me so much joy when we're doing something that she really loves, like going outside hiking, going to the beach, going on walks, going on runs.” Even on the day I spoke with Kim, her trusty pup was showing support. “I was kind of having a mental breakdown and [Reese] came to the bathroom to make sure I was doing OK,” she says, “knowing that someone loves you that much is very heartwarming.”
Until she’s back on the board, Kim is staying active by going outdoors with Reese — the duo is encouraging others to do just that with the Pro Plan Million Mile Challenge. Between now and May 17, Purina Pro Plan will donate 10 cents per mile up to $100,000 to Athletes for Animals, a charitable organization connecting athlete ambassadors with local animal shelters and rescue groups to help them raise funds. You can track miles spent with your dog by downloading the Strava app and joining the challenge with Kim and Reese. “It’s really to encourage dog owners like myself to get out there and get active with their pets,” Kim explains. “Go on a walk, go on a run, get outside and enjoy the day with your beloved pet.”
Since returning home from the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kim says she’s been recovering and getting things sorted before thinking about her next move — as she should, after literally defying gravity and physically pushing the boundaries of human capability. I mean, have you seen her back-to-back 1080s? While she doesn’t have any future plans to share just yet, she says she will definitely be going after her third gold medal at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.
”Being an Asian American woman is such an honor and being able to be a role model for young girls, and being that person the next generation can look up to, hopefully I can inspire them to go out there and be great,” she says. With Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month coming up in May, she’s very aware of her identity as a first-generation Korean American, and what it means for the athletes, and women, who come after her. “I still have a lot of growing to do, but I’m hoping that by being more open and talking about my experiences, [I] will inspire others.”