Anderson does it again
Jamie Anderson has successfully kept hold to her Olympic slopestyle title. Being one of the odds-on favourites for a medal in the second snowboard final of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, the 27-year-old lived up to the expectations.
However, the rider from South Lake Tahoe had to throw in all of her experience today as the two run, best one count final which had been set into place after qualifiers had been cancelled due to strong winds yesterday were plagued by gusty weather once again.
As a result, all 26 ladies who were keen to give it a shot had to battle against the wind while also trying to stay as creative and technical as possible on the new standards setting course crafted by Germany based company Schneestern.
In addition, the whole field also had to do well in the good old waiting game as training for the finals had to be postponed.
In fact, FIS Jury monitored the weather conditions closely throughout the day, including consulting with the coaches, and considered it was within the boundaries to stage the competition safely.
The Jury monitored the wind conditions continuously before the competition and following a 30 minute delay considered it was satisfactory to hold training.
After staging the 45-minute training session without problems and monitoring the weather forecast for the following hours, the Jury determined that the weather was stable enough to proceed with the competition.
Unfortunately only about two handful of athletes were then able to throw one down in the Bokwang Phoenix Park being forced to adjust their tricks to the unstable and changing wind situation and prefer riding smart over a go big or go home attitude.
The first of only five girls landing their first run was Jessika Jenson who managed to stomp a cab 540 mute, frontside 360 indy and backside 720 mute which earned her a 72.26, the third highest score of the first round which eventually was good enough to place fifth in the end.
Only Silje Norendal (NOR), who finally ended up as fourth (73.91) and Jamie Anderson (83.00) were able to beat Jenson's score in the first run with the latter one seeming to be one of the few feeling absolutely comfortable to drop in.
However, with a boardslide to 270 out, a frontside stalefish transfer, a frontlip to fakie and a switch boardslide to 270 out in the jibbing section as well as a backside 540 indy, cab underflip and a frontside 720 mute she didn't have thad to go all in to take over the lead.
With the the wind situation not getting any better in the second round of the finals, her top score held off and made her the first ever female snowboard athlete to earn a second Olympic Gold medal.
“I’m feeling so happy,” Anderson, the last to drop in, said. “I’ve gone through so much this last year just preparing for the Games, and defending the Gold is definitely not an easy position to be in.“
Asked for the weather situation she answered that „the conditions were not ideal but it changes so quick. When we were practising and even earlier this morning when we all got there, it was really bad and they did delay it and did their best. I just kind of tried to stay in my zone and keep it neutral and let the officials make the call.”
Laurie Blouin (CAN) might have had the same approach after she had experienced an unpleasant surprise catching the wrong edge on the landing hill of jump number three in one of the training sessions a few days ago.
Noticeable signed by her crash to the face in the training session three days ago that had put her participation in the final in jeopardy, the 21-year-old reigning World Champion was able to bring down a frontside boardslide, boardslide, frontside 360, backside 720 melon, frontside 540 indy and a cab underflip mute securing a 76.33 and Silver.
2014 Silver medallist Enni Rukajarvi (FIN) rounded out the podium as third with a 75.38.