Jamie Anderson said last week’s X Games title — her sixth dating to 2007 — was probably her most meaningful of her Aspen triumphs.
“Just because I’m 29,” she said. “I’ve been snowboarding for so long and competing for so long. To see the new generation and know that I still have it is pretty awesome.”
Anderson, the two-time Olympic slopestyle champion and the only female snowboarder with multiple golds, returns to her native California this weekend for the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain.
NBC Sports airs live coverage of the freeskiing and snowboard event Friday through Sunday. All broadcasts will stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.
|Friday||12:30 p.m.||Ski Slopestyle||NBCSN|
|4:30 p.m.||Snowboard Halfpipe||NBCSN|
|Saturday||1 p.m.||Snowboard Slopestyle||Olympic Channel|
|4 p.m.||Ski Halfpipe||Olympic Channel|
|5 p.m.||Ski Halfpipe||NBC|
|11:30 p.m.||Ski Halfpipe||NBCSN*|
|Sunday||3 p.m.||Snowboard Halfpipe||NBC*|
Anderson took even more satisfaction from her 13th X Games Aspen slopestyle medal, one for every one of her appearances in the discipline dating to 2006, when she debuted at 15.
She suffered a bad big air crash at X Games the previous year, leaving temporary scars between her eyes and forcing her to pull out of slopestyle.
Anderson crashed on the same big air trick — a front double 1080 — in practice for a Dec. 20 contest at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park. She separated the AC joint in one of her shoulders and took a month off.
Anderson returned for X Games last week. Big air was again her first event. She crashed at least three times in five runs.
“I was a little bit standoffish, and I didn’t ride so well,” she said. “I think, partially, I had a little bit of the fear from the crash in the past. Thankfully, I took that energy and put it into slopestyle.”
In slope two days later, Anderson showcased her strength of spinning all four directions and reversed her rails from run to run. That worked well with the competition’s new scoring format — a jam session, where riders were ranked on overall impression rather than a single best run. She tried a front double 10 on her last run but wasn’t able to land it.
Still, Anderson beat a field that included Olympic silver and bronze medalists Laurie Blouin of Canada and Enni Rukajärvi of Finland, 2019 X Games champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand and Olympic big air champion Anna Gasser of Austria.
This week, Anderson expects family members (she’s one of eight kids) in attendance. The South Lake Tahoe native won in Mammoth at her last two starts in 2017 and 2018.
“Mammoth kind of is a special place because I grew up coming here in the beginning of my career,” she said of a resort where Shaun White and Chloe Kim also plied their trade. “It was kind of the place to be for pro snowboarders.”
Anderson isn’t sure what her contest future holds beyond the Beijing Olympics in two years. She’s working on a snowboarding film project, “Leap Year,” with her partners.
“For a lot of years, it was pretty easy to win. I kind of just had to show up. Now I really have to freakin’ send it and do things out of my comfort zone and try new tricks,” she said. “Maybe one [more] Olympics, and then start freakin’ having a family and riding more backcountry, but I don’t totally know. I’m open to whatever is meant to be.”
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