Entertainment Sports Chloe Kim Opens Up About Sharing Her Experiences Feeling 'Alienated' as a Korean American Snowboarder "Being the person to make some change happen is really important to me," the two-time Olympic gold medalist tells PEOPLE of blazing a trail in her sport By Shafiq Najib Published on April 21, 2022 01:17PM EDT Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Chloe Kim has been a trailblazing snowboarder in many ways, though she acknowledges the experience of being a first in her field has at times made her feel "a little alienated." "I think that it was always difficult to be the outsider in a way," Kim, told PEOPLE, of being the first Korean American medalist in a sport dominated mostly by white athletes. (According to NPR, the lack of diversity in the sports has been on display at this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing, where Team USA has 48 athletes participating in the snowboarding competition, none of whom are Black and only a small fraction of whom are people of color.) "But honestly, I think in the past few years just being more outspoken about my experiences has opened everyone's eyes, especially around me," continued Kim, who chatted with PEOPLE this week at an event to launch her partnership with Purina Pro Plan. "Being the person to make some change happen is really important to me, so being able to achieve that in some ways feels good," she affirmed. Chloe Kim. Patrick Smith/Getty Images Chloe Kim Is the First Woman in Olympic History to Win Back-to-Back Gold in Halfpipe Kim has been involved in the sport since she was a teenager. Snowboarding has always been on the top of her priority list growing up, which played a massive role in her success at a very young age. At 17, she won her first gold medal in halfpipe at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, which further catapulted her into international stardom. Earlier this year in Beijing, Kim again shocked the world by defending her title and securing first place in the women's halfpipe for a second consecutive Games. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Patrick Smith/Getty But being in the spotlight comes with unexpected responsibilities and burdens — including intense pressure that eventually takes a toll on athletes' mental health. When asked about how she coped with the situation, Kim says, "I just do." Snowboarder Chloe Kim on Overcoming Pressure to 'Be Perfect,' Taking 'Better Care of Myself' "I've been on a really long mental health journey," she told PEOPLE this week, "so it's been really helpful getting the help I need like seeing a therapist." She continued, "Being more open and outspoken with my family about everything that's going on in my life has been helpful so then when I got to Beijing I feel like I set myself up for success in the aspect so I was able to handle it pretty well." Kim also shared that her family is her inspiration to persevere when going through the hardships of being a professional athlete. "Just knowing that they worked so hard to support me throughout this journey and just really acknowledging that," she said. "Everything I do is for myself but also for them in some ways, so that's important to me." Olympian Chloe Kim on How Her New Film Is a Love Letter to Her Family: 'They Are My No. 1 Fans' Justin Lubke/Purina Pro Plan Her latest collaboration project with Purina Pro Plan involving her dog Reese, a miniature Australian shepherd, kicked off on April 19. The Pro Plan Million Mile Challenge movement encourages people to get active with their dogs and discover how the brand's nutrition plan can fuel their canine companion's active lifestyles. Additionally, a donation of up to $100,000 will also be made by Pro Plan Sport to Athletes for Animals — a non-profit organization that focuses on protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide. "Just get out there, get active," Kim told PEOPLE of the program. "And also, maybe get a dog because they're the best."