Jamie Anderson Wins 2nd Gold Medal in Slopestyle
On a day where weather conditions were quite hostile, American snowboarder Jamie Anderson repeated her 2014 performance in the women’s slopestyle event, earning gold at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The American dominated the event, easily earning the victory in an affair that was delayed due to high winds.
Blustery winds forced the postponement of several events on the day, including a delay in the women’s slopestyle finals. However, the event continued after a 75 minute delay. Sunday’s qualifying round was cancelled due to the inclement weather, so all 25 entrants in the field moved on to the finals held on Monday.
The bad weather forced another change when the Olympic committee opted to go with two runs per entrant instead of three. The weather continued to wreak havoc, as only a few riders were able to handle the demands of the event, with the majority either crashing or bailing out on their first attempt. Only five of the 25 entrants made it through their first run cleanly.
Anderson was one of them, scoring an 83.00 on her first jump, easily the best score of the event. However, she was not immune from the effects of the weather, as she was forced to bail out on her second attempt. That proved to be irrelevant, as the American easily won with a score that was nearly seven points higher than the second place finisher. Canada’s Laurie Blouin earned the Silver medal, posting a 76.33 in her second jump. Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi earned the Bronze, scoring a 75.38 on her second run. Both spilled during their first runs. No rider scored better than a 70 on both of their attempts.
Two other riders from the United States finished in the top 10. Jessika Jenson finished fifth with a 72.26 and Hailey Langland was sixth with a 71.80.
Anderson won the women’s slopestyle event in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but injuries limited her participation over the last four years. That included breaking her elbow last year. An emotional Anderson was brought to tears following her victory, especially after seeing her parents and siblings. “I could have cried,” she began, explaining how they had stood by her through her recovery period. “It’s all these people around me that keep my spirits lifted and help me to be my best self.”
The Sochi Olympics was the first time that the women’s slopestyle event was included. The Americans swept all three medals in 2014, with Anderson earning the Gold. She also became the second American to win two Gold medals in the event. Red Gerald won the men’s slopestyle on Sunday after winning the same event in Sochi.
The victory gave the United States two Gold medals, a Silver, and a Bronze through the first four days of competition. Chris Mazdzer earned a Silver medal in the men’s singles luge on Sunday. The United States earned a bronze in the team figure skating event on Monday. Through the first four days of competition the United States is ranked fifth in the medal count. Norway is first with eight and Germany has earned the most Gold medals with four.