Anderson Defends Slopestyle Gold
Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.), who won the slopestyle snowboarding gold medal in the sport’s Olympic debut at the 2014 Games, battled challenging weather conditions and a stacked field to win gold again Monday at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Blustery conditions caused a delayed start to the event and stymied most of the riders once competition began. Anderson dug deep into her competitive bag of experience and nailed a clean run on her first trip down the Phoenix Snow Park course to score 83.00. She then watched as the field was confounded by the windy conditions.
"I realized coming into this year that it was a lot of pressure to defend the title especially with the level of riding escalating at a crazy rate," Anderson said. "Deep down I knew I could do it. But there were so many variables. When I landed my run, and later knew I had won, I could barely comprehend the emotions."
Clean performances were the exception rather than the rule during second runs. The closest anyone could come to challenging Anderson was Laurie Bloun of Canada, whose 76.33 landed her the silver medal. Finland's Enni Rukajarvi, the silver medalist in Sochi, took the bronze medal with a 75.38.
Jessica Jenson (Rigby, Idaho) was fifth, while Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.) was sixth with one of the few clean second runs. Julia Marino (Westport, Conn.) finished 11th.
Anderson’s win, combined with 2014 Olympic champion Sage Kotsenburg, and 2018 men’s gold medalist Red Gerard, means Team USA has won all four Olympic slopestyle events.