Anderson and Gerard Top Slopestyle Podium
U.S. Snowboard Team riders Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard showed up big time for the final Olympic qualifying event of the season at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, earning the top slopestyle podium spots. The defending Olympic Gold Medalists gave us a preview of what we can hope to see in Beijing, with both riding at the top of their games.
The meteoric progression in the women’s field continued as Anderson and New Zealand’s Zoe Sadowski-Synnott went head-to-head for the top position.
While Jamie had already achieved the criteria needed for her U.S. Team nomination to compete in her third Olympics, the fire was still lit for a win. “It feels good,” said Anderson of her win “Competing is really hard, it’s such a mind game. I haven’t competed much this year, so it feels good to have fallen on my first run, clear that, and pull it together for my last run. And I’ve never done a Cab 1080 in a slopestyle, so I’m really stoked on that.”
Jamie put down a full pull run on her second attempt, styling through the rails with a backside blunt to fakie, into a switch up on the flat down, lipslide 270 on the pink rainbow. In the jump section she went backside rodeo 540 melon into that massive Cab double cork 1080 weddle, marking the first time Anderson has landed this trick in slopestyle, although she has wielded it in Big Air.
The main threat to Anderson was Sadowski-Synnott, who scrubbed on her front 1080, which kept her in second place with a score of 82.50, followed by Japan’s Kokomo Murase, with a score of 77.94.
“I’m hyped all the girls are sending it, after 15 years on tour I couldn’t be more impressed with women’s riding,” shared Anderson. Looking ahead to her third Olympics, the defending gold medalist said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to represent the U.S. on such a big stage. I’m also excited to motivate young girls to follow their dreams.”
U.S. Teammate Hailey Langland earned fifth place, which sealed her Olympic team nomination, followed by Courtney Rummel in ninth.
Men’s Slopestyle Results
Red Gerard pulled the old ‘show up and blow up’ to clench the slopestyle win on Saturday—a repeat of his top podium finish at the Dew Tour.
Gerard was really happy with the course here at Mammoth both for the speed and the accessibility, “Mammoth is like the best place ever because it’s just a two-minute chairlift lap—in three hours you can get 50 laps and it’s just so much practice and it’s a blast,” said Gerard.
Gerard’s second run started off with a backside 270 boardslide 270 out, into a gap switch backside 270 to switch, going Cab 270 lipslide 270 melon out to close out the upper rail section. He launched into the pair of jumps, starting off with a backside 1260 melon, finishing with a switch backside triple cork 1620 bringing the spectators to their knees I tell you. He earned a top score of 82.88.
Gerard shared that he had even more in the tank, during practice he put down back-to-back 1620s in the jump section. Look for him to continue to raise the bar.
Gerard made a name for himself at the 2018 Olympic Games as the youngest gold medalist, seventeen-years-old at the time. This time around, Gerard says, “I’m grown up a little more and I have my mind set on different things—as you grow up you get different goals. This time around it’s just a lot more about snowboarding—landing runs and trying to prepare yourself the best you can for Beijing.”
The U.S.Team finishes included Brock Crouch in sixth, followed by Chris Corning in eighth, Dusty Henricksen in 10th and Kyle Mack in 11th.
Netherland’s Niek van der Velden earned second place with a score of 76.56, followed by New Zealand’s Tiarn Collins with a score of 73.44.
To date, the U.S. Slopestyle snowboard athletes who have achieved criteria to be nominated to Team USA include Anderson, Gerard, Henricksen, Corning, and Langland.