Snowboarding: Anderson retains slopestyle gold in challenging winds

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA- A Vancouver Island snowboarder has taken 22 place at the Winter Olympics. She proved triumphant after 17-year-old Red Gerard won gold for the Americans in the men's slopestyle.

Laurie Blouin of Canada won silver, with Enni Rukajarvi of Finland taking bronze. The circumstances cut the typical two-run qualifying format and three-run final down to a two-run final with all competitors riding. Those qualifying runs had originally been scheduled for Sunday afternoon - but high winds changed that plan.

In a sport that focuses so heavily on pushing the edge, n Austria's Anna Gasser seemed intent on putting together a truly edgy run, and her double underflip on the second jump of her first run ended with her sitting down. With strong winds gusting throughout the competition, Anderson took the lead on her first run with a score of 83.00 and it was enough.

Heading into the second run, wind conditions worsened and numerous snowboarders faltered on the second jump. 'It's a s-tshow, ' said Dutch rider Cheryl Maas.

Only five of the 25 riders who attempted a run made it down the slope without a fall. Julia Marino was 11th. Norendal didn't improve on her second run, which only helped Anderson's chances at securing the gold. That set up a victory lap for Anderson, one which she gladly accepted despite the need to hold back emotions on top of the hill.

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