Jamie Anderson tied Shaun White for second on the Winter X Games medals list, earning her 18th overall and her seventh gold in snowboard slopestyle in Aspen, Colo., as athletes from four different continents won titles on Friday.
Anderson, the 2014 and 2018 Olympic slopestyle champion, beat a field that included 2019 X Games champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand, who placed second on Friday, and 2018 Olympic big air champion Anna Gasser of Austria.
In a jam-session format where riders were ranked on overall impression, but not given individual scores, Anderson led the standings after her first of four runs and was never displaced. Anderson’s final run was a victory lap, right after Sadowski-Synnott bumped Canadian Laurie Blouin down to bronze.
“Honestly, I’m speechless,” Anderson said. “Zoi’s last run was flawless.”
Anderson competed minutes after seeing U.S. Olympic teammate Hailey Langland dislocate an elbow in a practice crash, which knocked her out of the competition. The start was delayed by about 15 minutes.
Only Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris owns more Winter X Games medals than Anderson, who has made the podium in all 14 of her slopestyle starts in Aspen dating to her debut at age 15. Anderson also competed in snowboard cross at X Games as early as age 13.
Anderson also broke her tie with Kelly Clark for second-most Winter X Games golds in Aspen for a woman. Lindsey Jacobellis holds the female record of 10 golds, though her event, snowboard cross, was last on the program in 2016.
“I don’t really know when I’m going to retire,” Anderson, 30, said. “I kind of thought, maybe this will be my last year. I don’t know. But, one day at a time.”
Later Friday, 17-year-old Eileen Gu became the first Chinese athlete to win an X Games title, taking the women’s ski halfpipe. Gu, born in San Francisco to an American father and Chinese mother, landed two 900s to relegate 2018 Olympic champion Cassie Sharpe of Canada to silver.
New Zealand’s Nico Porteous took the men’s ski halfpipe with back-to-back 1620s. Porteous, 19, ended a U.S. streak of four consecutive titles in the event among Aaron Blunck, Alex Ferreira and David Wise.
Swiss Mathilde Gremaud landed a switch double cork 1440 and won her second title in three years in ski big air, which makes its Olympic debut in Beijing next year.
Gremaud, the Olympic ski slopestyle silver medalist in 2018, beat a field that lacked 2020 X Games champion Frenchwoman Tess Ledeux, who skipped X Games, citing “really painful times” for her family.
Kelly Sildaru, a four-time X Games ski slopestyle champion, was on the start list but did not compete due to a left knee injury, according to the host broadcast.
The X Games continue Saturday, highlighted by Chloe Kim in snowboard halfpipe.
— X Games (@XGames) January 29, 2021
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