Jamie Anderson takes a practice run before the start of the qualifications for women's snowboard slopestyle during the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championship on March 10, 2021 at Buttermilk Ski Resort in Aspen, Colorado.
Jamie Anderson was so close to winning her third world title.
The Lake Tahoe native and two-time Olympic gold medalist in slopestyle snowboarding took the top spot on her first slopestyle run on Friday at the FIS World Championships in Aspen, Colorado. She held first place until the very last run of the competition.
That’s when reigning champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand finally put down a clean run and jumped from last to first to hold on to the title she won in 2019.
Anderson, 30, is the most decorated woman in the history of the X Games with 19 medals. She also has an Olympic silver medal in big air from PyeongChang in 2018 to go along with her two slopestyle gold medals. Anderson participated at the 2016 world championships where she won gold in both slopestyle and big air.
On Friday, Anderson put down a smooth first run, transitioning from a clean rails section up top to a big backside rodeo on her first jump, followed by a switch double cork underflip 900 and a frontside 720 to score an 81.10 and move into first place.
On her second run, Anderson went for a frontside 1080 at the bottom of the run and fell hard on her toe edge. She landed the trick on her third and final run but didn’t improve on her first-run score.
Sadowski-Synnott, who was first after qualifying with Anderson just behind her, struggled on her first two runs with a high score of just 47.06, but she made her last run count to claim victory with a score of 85.95. That made her the first competitor ever to win back-to-back slopestyle world championships.
The men’s slopestyle competition featured four U.S. athletes in the field of 16, including reigning Olympic champion Red Gerard. Midway through the second and final run of the day for the men, Gerard was in position to win his first medal in the world championships. However, he was narrowly edged out by Finland’s Rene Rinnekangas for the bronze medal.
Gerard scored an 82.28 on his first run but sat down on a backside 1260 on his second run. He still finished the competition highest among his U.S. teammates. Dusty Henricksen, who won gold in slopestyle at the Youth Olympic Games 2020, finished in seventh place with a top score of 77.90. Olympian Chris Corning, who won the event in 2019, came in 11th and Lyon Farrell was 12th.
The world championships were originally supposed to be held at the 2022 Olympic venue in Zhangjiakou, China, but they were moved to Aspen last month because of travel restrictions.