Heading into her third and final shot at a medal, the scores posted on the board in front of Gold were daunting, with the best riders in the world, including Liu Jiayu of China, as well as USA teammates Chloe Kim and Kelly Clark with an iron grip on the top three spots in this competition.
Kim won with a score of 98.25, in a competition that never saw her trail another snowboarder. They are also talking about the tweets she sent out in the middle of her competition about being "hangry".
The weight of expectation lifted, the teenage trailblazer - talented enough but too young to compete under global rules at Sochi four years ago - was relaxed enough to take selfies with compatriot and bronze medalist Arielle Gold before a room full of journalists and pretended to sing into the mic as one of her answers were translated.
The teenager, who has melted the hearts of home fans in Pyeongchang, justified her status as the hot favourite with an eye-popping top score of 98.25.Pumping her fists after finishing with back-to-back 1080 spins, Kim revealed that her number one fan - her Seoul-based grandmother - had been in the crowd cheering her on. She secured her spot with a strong second run that had ideal pacing and control in the halfpipe at Phoenix Snow Park.
"So", Gold said, her voice stern and direct, with a no-messing-around tone, "who's going to be the next starting quarterback for my Broncos?"
Here's all you need to know about her Rocky Mountain cred. "I'm excited to have them there".
She didn't have to do it. Her score there was a 93.75, which put her almost nine points clear of the other 11 riders, none of whom would crack 90.
Liu Jiayu finished second with 89.75 to become the first Chinese snowboarder to medal at the Olympics. She said injuries made her reboot and reconnect with her love of the sport, regardless of the result.
In the first doping case of the 2018 Games, 21-year-old short-track speed skater Kei Saito became the only Japanese ever to test positive at a Winter Olympics.
Gold said it was "bittersweet" to knock Clark out of third place, saying that in addition to admiring Clark as a teammate and athlete, "She's someone I've looked up to ever since I started snowboarding".
That bronze-medal run pushed Kelly Clark - she of the one gold and two Olympic bronzes - into fourth. Gold medals are nice and all, but to the 17-year-old star, the journey is the point, not the destination. "Not many people have this kind of opportunity".
"She tugged on my sleeve and asked to go up the lift with me", recalled Clark.
Jong Jin Kim moved to the United States in 1982 to pursue his engineering degree.
Down in the fans section, where Jong Jin was joined by his wife, Boran, along with Chloe's two sisters, three aunts, two cousins, and her 75-year-old grandma, dad pointed to himself and said "American dream", then let out a big whoop.
"I don't really know what's happening and I'm actually feeling a little anxious right now", Kim said. "Thank you very much (to) my daughter".
Her No. 1 bib soaring into the South Korean sky, she put on a display that left the rest of the field and the thousands packed near the finish roaring their approval and vaulting her to a level of stardom she's not quite sure she's prepared for.
On Tuesday in South Korea, Gold performed the demanding 1080 trick involving three rotations.
She won Olympic bronze for Broncos Country, which, as we all well know, hasn't had a lot of bright, shiny moments to smile about of late.
"She rides longer than anyone, takes more runs than anyone". After winning gold, Kim admitted she was unable to fathom "leaving your life behind and chasing this dream with your kid".
"I think today I did it for my family and I am so grateful to them".