Snowboard Big Air

Getty Images

Jamie Anderson heads to U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth after one of her most meaningful titles

Leave a comment

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.

Day Time (ET) Event Network
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*

*Delayed broadcast

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.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chloe Kim to take year off from snowboarding contests

U.S. snowboarders shut out of X Games Aspen halfpipe medals for first time

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The first two Winter X Games events came and went without an American medalist, a historic opening to the 24th annual event in Aspen, Colo., on Thursday.

Australian Scotty James won the men’s halfpipe for a third time, extending his winning streak to 10 contests since the start of the 2018-19 season.

James, the Olympic bronze medalist, landed a switch backside double 1260, cab 1080, frontside 900 grabbing nose and a double backside 1260 (video here). He was followed by Yuto Totsuka of Japan and Jan Scherrer of Switzerland. Scores were not posted on the broadcast. Rather, a new, 30-minute jam session format had judges ranking riders fluidly.

Though the U.S. had five in the eight-man final, none made the halfpipe podium for the first time at an Aspen X Games. The event has been held there since 2002.

Records before that are hard to find, but it’s possible it’s the first time in X Games history (since 1997) anywhere in the United States that an American man did not make a halfpipe podium.

Shaun White, an eight-time X Games halfpipe champion, last won in 2013 and announced after PyeongChang that he was taking a break from snowboarding.

White announced a bid last summer to make the first Olympic skateboarding team, but it’s unknown if he’s still pursuing that after finishing 13th at the world championships in September, trailing the Americans favored to make the team. More of his social media posts in recent weeks have been snowboarding related.

Later Thursday, Japanese swept the women’s big air podium: Miyabi Onitsuka, Kokomo Murase and Reira Iwabuchi. Olympic champions Jamie Anderson of the U.S. and Anna Gasser of Austria finished seventh and eighth in the eight-woman field, each falling on most of their runs.

Gasser, who in November 2018 became the first woman to land a triple cork, tried four triple underflips and fell each time.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chloe Kim to take year off from snowboarding contests

Chris Corning wins snowboard big air with quad 1800 at Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park

Leave a comment

American Chris Corning and Japanese Reira Iwabuchi just missed the podium in PyeongChang, each finishing fourth in snowboard big air’s Olympic debut. Neither would be denied at a unique contest Friday, a big air competition inside the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.

Corning, 20, rallied on his last of three runs, overtaking Canadian Nicolas Laframboise with a 95.25-point score on a quad cork.

“It was a bit of disbelief and a lot of anxiety is relieved from this body,” Corning said on NBCSN. “It’s always super scary trying it.”

Corning was the first U.S. man to qualify for PyeongChang in slopestyle and big air but was left off the podium in South Korea when he just missed landing an ambitious quad cork 1800 on his last run in the big air final.

Iwabuchi, 18, landed a double cork backside 1080 and a double underflip 900 on her first two runs on Friday, according to TV commentators. Her last run was a victory lap, the title already clinched.

Friday’s finals lacked PyeongChang Olympic big air champions Sebastien Toutant of Canada and Anna Gasser of Austria, who were not in the fields.

PyeongChang slopestyle gold medalists Jamie Anderson and Red Gerard did compete, but Anderson crashed out in practice before the final and Gerard was eliminated in qualifying.

The big air competition at SunTrust Park concludes Saturday with the ski event, which makes its Olympic debut in Beijing in 2022.

The fields include Olympic ski slopestyle champion Sarah Höfflin of Switzerland two-time Olympic ski slopestyle medalist American Nick Goepper. NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app air live coverage at 7 p.m. ET.

About 900,000 pounds of snow were brought to the ballpark with a 15-story ramp installed. It’s similar to a big air contest at Fenway Park held in 2016.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: 2019-20 Alpine skiing season TV schedule