NEW YORK — It still feels like a dream, one month after Jamie Anderson won gold at the Olympics and celebrated at a temple of water, Earth, fire and air.
Anderson, the first Olympic women’s snowboard slopestyle champion, has zig-zagged across the U.S. since leaving Sochi one week after winning on the second day of the Winter Games.
Some of the travel has been about getting back on a snowboard, a feeling she still itches for, but Anderson is also making the most of the opportunities afforded to gold medalists.
New York one week. Los Angeles the next. It was back to New York last week, with a 2008 Olympic champion gymnast by her side.
“I’m thankful that I did well and can relax for a few years,” she said, joking. “[Sochi] was such an amazing experience. … I don’t think it’s totally sunk in. I miss it a little bit. I haven’t been snowboarding lately. I’m missing the mountain vibration.”
That’s not completely true. Anderson won her fourth U.S. Open slopestyle title “in a snowstorm” in Vail, Colo., on March 7. She reportedly used the same run that earned gold in Sochi to wrap up the season’s World Snowboard Tour title.
Anderson rode on a trip with sponsor Oakley to Canada (the snow was awful) and while in Lake Tahoe for a few days for a homecoming party earlier this month.
“It was a just a tease because I love it so much,” she said of Tahoe. “I don’t want to leave now. It’s spring. You can ride in sunglasses.”
Her future appears bright. She’s 23, the same age or younger than her top rivals, and plans this summer to be in New Zealand, where the competition season usually starts in late August.
She’ll balance switch backside 540s and 720s with projects, such as a film she’s manifesting with a handful of women about the lifestyle behind snowboarding.
“The culture and connecting with our environment all over the world, where we get to go,” Anderson said.
One of those places was in Russia. She found what she called “a temple of water, Earth, fire and air,” in the days after winning gold.
“It was amazing, right on a river in the valley near Rosa Khutor [where the Olympic snowboard events were held],” said Anderson, who also enjoys yoga. “The Russian healer guy was just very in tune with all the elements. … It was, honestly, something I never thought I’d find in Russia.
“It just goes to show that there’s good people everywhere in this world. You just have to put out that energy.”
Anderson has no regrets from Sochi, but quickly answered when asked about changes for the second Olympic slopestyle event in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
“I would like to see snowboarding be ran by its own federation,” she said. Snowboarding is part of the International Ski Federation (FIS), which also runs Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. “We, as athletes, are all trying to come together to create a platform that works for the good of all. So hopefully that will happen before Korea.”
Anderson believes this offseason, full of commitments and projects, will boost her riding.
“I think the best thing for my snowboarding is taking a break,” she said, “and remembering how much I love it.”