nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Anderson stays calm for slopestyle gold

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Self-confessed California hippy Jamie Anderson kept calm in the frenzy of a dramatic women's snowboarding slopestyle final to clinch the first Olympic gold medal in the event on Sunday.

Going third last in what had been a low-scoring contest on an intimidating course at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, the 23-year-old laid down a superb solid run to score 95.25 and blow away the competition.

Enni Rukajarvi won a surprise silver for Finland with the only other run to break through the 90-point barrier (92.50), and Jenny Jones took the bronze with 87.25 to become Britain's first Olympic medallist in a snow event.

Anderson's victory gave the United States a sweep of the first two gold medals in snowboarding slopestyle after Sage Kotsenburg won the men's event on Saturday.

"It feels amazing, goodness," Anderson told reporters.

"To be here and represent my country, and just everything that has to do with the Olympics is such an honour and I'm so grateful right now."

There was also a reminder of the dangers of the sport when Sarka Pancochova, who had led after the first run, botched a jump and landed with a sickening thud on the snow.

The 23-year-old Czech appeared to lose consciousness as she slithered down the slope before being helped to her feet and making her way groggily to the bottom, where she showed her rivals a huge crack in her helmet.

That came two runs after Jones had taken the lead with her second run, which she executed without error over the rails and three big jumps that had brought so many snowboarders down to earth with a bump this week.

"It was very much about clean landings, no hands down and grabs," said Jones. "I guess we started to see that's what (the judges) were after and it was important to do everything the best you possibly could."


Rukajarvi went out straight after Pancochova's tumble and her nerveless run put her top of the leaderboard until Anderson, who had botched a landing in her first run, carved and jumped her way down the course.

"I was third to last so I watched almost all the second runs and I was really just trying to just stay calm and kind of just reserve my energy," added Anderson, who said she had prepared for the final by listening to yoga tapes and lighting candles.

"It was a lot of stress up there, the outreach that this event connects to across the whole world is just out of control.

"I was just trying to keep it light, I was freaking out."

Jones then had a nervous wait to see if any of the final two competitors could knock her off the podium.

The most likely was the final competitor, Anna Gasser, who had set the best score in qualifying.

Perhaps unsettled by the farcical scene at the start of her first run, when she set off too early but was unable to scramble back up the icy slope, the Austrian could only manage the 10th best score of the day and Jones had her medal.

"I feel very proud to have got a medal for my country, something I didn't feel was a possibility for me," Jones said.

"It was only two years ago we found out our event was going to be in the Olympics, until then I never represented my country."

Torah Bright has already won one Olympic gold for Australia but came up short in her bid for three snowboarding medals in Sochi, finishing seventh after failing to land a clean run with her more complicated routine.

More From You

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum
Filter by:
steve February 10 2014 at 1:59 AM

Way to go Ms Anderson ,,,did you see this Shawn White?

Reply Flag as Abusive rate up rate down
Karen February 10 2014 at 1:00 AM


Reply Flag as Abusive +1 rate up rate down
surfundeep February 09 2014 at 10:48 PM

The Winter Olympics are the only spectator sports that I really look forward to. I enjoy all the events...except the brawl called hockey. I'm wearing my Sochi 2014 shirt as I the events unfold !

Reply Flag as Abusive -3 rate up rate down
richyalf February 09 2014 at 10:15 PM

Look forward to the next winter Olympics when the snowman competition becomes an event.

Reply Flag as Abusive +1 rate up rate down
Mike February 09 2014 at 10:11 PM

Next they will be Obamaskidding over the bank.

Who gives a damn?

Reply Flag as Abusive -1 rate up rate down
time1865 February 09 2014 at 9:44 PM

That's just wonderful. Oh happy day.

Reply Flag as Abusive rate up rate down
JERRY February 09 2014 at 7:42 PM

why dont we let the druggie die in peace?

Reply Flag as Abusive -4 rate up rate down
1 reply to JERRY's comment
patmcurran February 09 2014 at 11:27 PM

I think blaming it on drugs would be giving him too much credit. Just another ignorant bagger

Reply Flag as Abusive +1 rate up rate down
dradkirk February 09 2014 at 7:03 PM

Kidding(?) , but perhaps our best (USA) hopes in future Olympics is to continue to create, perfect, and then promote totally new sports for inclusion in future Olympic competitions ... such as slopeside snowboarding. How about a horseshoe toss akin to curling with holes cut in frozen lakes? (use battery powered hair dryers instead of those silly curling brooms) "One And Done" icicle throwing as winter's equivalent to
javelin throwing?

Reply Flag as Abusive -9 rate up rate down
ponderosabozos February 09 2014 at 6:30 PM

So proud of our slopestyle people. Incredible to watch.
epecially proud of CarolAnn's boy Sage. Barb

Reply Flag as Abusive +9 rate up rate down
muddymoriverrat February 09 2014 at 6:26 PM

I'm glad the United States won gold, but, quite frankly, this is why I don't watch the Olympics anymore -- there are way too many events compared to when I was a kid (I'm age 65). Every Olympic Games, there are more and more events.

Reply Flag as Abusive -6 rate up rate down
2 replies to muddymoriverrat's comment
lgvxl42 February 09 2014 at 11:23 PM

Yeah, they don't use barrel slats for ski's any more.

Reply Flag as Abusive +1 rate up rate down
patmcurran February 09 2014 at 11:28 PM

Too many events? Cant keep track of them all?

Reply Flag as Abusive -1 rate up rate down
~~ 2592000


More From Our Partners