After talks of postponing the event went on in the riders tent all morning, Jamie Anderson earned herself not only a victory run in South Korea, but a gold medal to go along with it. Under tough conditions Monday afternoon in PyeongChang at the women’s snowboard slopestyle final of the 2018 Winter Olympics, Anderson went back-to-back from her win in Sochi, keeping her title as the only woman to hold Olympic gold in snowboarding slopestyle. Canada’s Laurie Blouin and Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi rounded out the podium respectively with silver and bronze.
Constantly changing wind conditions were a major story on the day, throwing the women off their lines and even causing big name riders like Aimee Fuller to opt out of hitting the full jump line, due to safety concern. Only five riders from the field of 25 completed a full run on their first attempt, and while that is not all due to wind, it was definitely on the mind of all the riders and media on site, bundled up as gusts touched down and visibly changed riders trajectory. Fuller, and other big name riders like Anna Gasser and bronze medalist Enni Rukajärvi criticized the decision to move forward.
Anderson’s winning run through the jumps—a backside 540, cab underflip and frontside 720—was not her best stuff from this season, but factoring in the weather, consistency proved key and she earned her gold after multiple delays in harsh conditions. Silje Norendal, along with Anderson’s fellow U.S. teammates Hailey Langland and Jessika Jenson sat just outside the podium after being able to put down 1 of their 2 runs on the day, just falling short of the scores they needed to medal. Some of the favorites coming into the final, including Julia Marino, Reira Iwabuchi, Spencer O’Brien, and Gasser, all failed to complete a full run.
The United States now holds all four gold medals in the men and women’s snowboard slopestyle events, but are still behind on the medal count at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Women’s halfpipe is set to drop next, so check back in soon for a full recap right here on TransWorld SNOWboarding!