To get viewers pumped up for the upcoming Winter Olympics, NBC aired a series of commercials during the Super Bowl that highlighted US athletes and their respective journeys to the Games. All of the ads were inspiring in their own way but none pulled at the heartstring more than Chloe Kim’s commercial. It focused on the 17-year-old snowboarder’s relationship with her father Jong-Jin Kim, and it beautifully demonstrated the sacrifices he’s made to help his daughter’s Olympic dream become a reality.
The ad begins with Jong-Jin getting out of work late and rushing over to drive Chloe to snowboarding practice. His daughter is visibly annoyed at his tardiness and Jong-Jin quickly realizes that his demanding job won’t allow him to put Chloe first.
“I have to do what’s best for my daughter,” Jong-Jin Kim says before quitting his engineering job. The ad then shows many of the ways Jong-Jin supported his daughter over the years, including practice drop-offs and pick-ups, studying video of Chloe’s snowboarding runs, and always being there to hug her at every finish line. In a nice bit of role reversal, the ad ends with Chloe driving as her dad sleeps while proudly clutching one of her trophies.
Amazingly, the real-life story of Jong-Jin quitting his job for his daughter’s snowboarding career is even more inspiring than the commercial version. Jong-Jin immigrated from South Korea to America in 1982 to study engineering. He bought Chloe, who was born and raised in California, her first snowboard when she was four and really did quit his lucrative job a few years late to support her riding career.
“He went home and just told my mom, ‘I’m done working, I’m going to make my daughter an Olympian,’” Chloe told the Los Angeles Times.
Thanks to her dad’s sacrifice, Chloe has already won five medals from the X Games (three gold, one silver, one bronze) and is now looking to take home some hardware from her first-ever Olympics. No matter what happens, though, Chloe knows her dad will always be waiting at the finish line to give her a giant hug.